English Championship

Sullivan bids Rovers farewell

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Thu, 11 Jul 2013 18:40:00

Real Sociedad have signed Switzerland international Haris Seferovic from Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old striker took his medical with Sociedad on Thursday morning before penning a four-year contract with the Primera Division outfit.

A club statement read: "Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with Fiorentina for the signing of striker Haris Seferovic. The club have also finalised an agreement with the Swiss international for his incorporation into our team until June 30, 2017.

"Seferovic will return to his country today to resolve personal matters and will be officially presented by the club at the start of next week."

Seferovic, who becomes Sociedad's second summer signing after the return of Jose Angel on loan, joined Fiorentina from Grasshoppers in 2010 and has spent loan spells at Neuchatel Xamax, Lecce and Novara in the last three years.

Sociedad finished fourth in the Primera Division last season after leapfrogging above Valencia on the final day. Coach Philippe Montanier left at the end of the campaign with his assistant Jagoba Arrasate being promoted to take his place on the bench.

Vermaelen's back injury has forced Arsene Wenger into seeking defensive replacements - with the Belgian sidelined for an indefinite period - and Swansea's Williams is at the top of his wanted list.

The defender has long been on Arsenal's radar, but their interest previously cooled due to Swansea's asking price.

However, Wenger could now be forced to push through a move for Williams amid fears that Vermaelen faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Vermaelen has been ruled out of the club's pre-season tour of Asia because of injury and it seems likely he will miss the start of the new Premier League.

Arsenal are short of options at the back with Sebastien Squillaci being released earlier this summer and Johan Djourou moving to Hamburg on loan.

It means Wenger could start the season with just two recognised central defenders in the shape of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.

Williams is thought to be Arsenal's top target to bring in a new defender with Wenger keen to have four central defenders in his squad ahead of the new season.

Wales captain Williams has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the country after two stand-out seasons in the Premier League with Swansea.

Swansea are bracing themselves for bid for Williams with the 28-year-old expected to jump at the chance of a switch to the Emirates Stadium and the chance to play in the Champions League.

Velez Sarsfield said on Wednesday that the 21-year-old would fly to Wearside on Thursday to finalise the transfer.

However, they released a statement on their official website, www.velezsarsfield.com.ar, on Thursday afternoon confirming that he will not now travel until the weekend.

It said: "Given the imminent transfer of Gino Peruzzi to Sunderland Association Football Club, finally next Sunday, July 14, both the player and the directors Julio Baldomar and Eduardo Ordonez will travel to England to complete initial contracts between the parties and thus close the sale."

The Black Cats are also closing in on Juventus' Italy international midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini with manager Antonio Conte having told reporters he is leaving to help ease the financial burden on the club.

The network of supporters' groups is aiming to take control of the crisis-hit Edinburgh outfit, who entered administration last month.

Friday is the deadline for first offers to buy the Gorgie club and the Foundation is the first interested party to go public with confirmation of submission of a bid.

Edinburgh businessman Bob Jamieson, along with USA-based company Club 9 Sports, will also reportedly table an offer.

However, it was reported by STV on Thursday morning that a consortium of Norwegian and Swedish businessmen has decided it would be "inappropriate" to bid against a fan-led takeover attempt.

The Foundation of Hearts revealed last week that it has "two clear options" to fund a takeover, which will remain confidential until after the deadline.

The group says both rely on securing as much financial support from individual fans as possible, coupled with partnerships with businesses.

A statement released by the Foundation read: "The bid team working with and on behalf of the Foundation of Hearts, has today submitted a proposal to the administrators of Heart of Midlothian FC, BDO LLP.

"The proposal would see Hearts exit administration and, with the ongoing backing of the supporter base, move towards a position of financial stability.

"Should this bid be accepted by BDO, it will allow the Foundation of Hearts to secure majority ownership over the club in a controlled fashion with support of the necessary capital to make today's bid strong and credible.

"The Foundation of Hearts will respect the next stage of this process by making no further comment in the days ahead, to allow the administrators to consider next steps."

The 43-year-old, who made over 200 appearances for the club, was the oldest player to play in the Football League last season.

"He's gone with everyone's best wishes," Dickov told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"We wanted him to stay on as a keeper and in an ambassadorial role, but he has had an offer from elsewhere he felt he couldn't turn down.

"I told him I was looking to bring in a number one goalkeeper and he totally respected that. He's been a fantastic servant to the club and a brilliant professional."

The Scottish international made his name at Wimbledon where he spent six seasons as a Premier League regular before top-flight spells with Tottenham and Chelsea.

He joined Doncaster from Leeds, initially on loan in 2006, and would help the club clinch promotion to the Championship with a play-off victory against the Elland Road outfit.

Last season he spent a spell on loan with AFC Wimbledon before returning to the Keepmoat to help Rovers clinch a return to the second tier.

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