Sun, Mar 09, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Scottish teams chase son of Maradona

REUTERS , GLASGOW

Scottish premier league (SPL) clubs Dunfermline Athletic, Dundee and Kilmarnock have joined Clyde in the race to complete the loan signing of Diego Maradona junior, the son of Argentina's 1986 World Cup winner.

Dunfermline manager Jimmy Calderwood said on Friday he is considering signing the young Napoli striker on a short-term deal after being approached by his agent.

SPL clubs Dundee and Kilmarnock have also discussed the possibility of taking the 16-year-old during the close season, while First Division Clyde are adamant a deal for the player is still very much alive.

"I got a phone call about three days ago asking if we fancied Maradona," said Calderwood. "I asked him why Scotland and why Dunfermline? It is a bit strange but they believe he will get a bit more peace in Scotland, which suggests to me he doesn't know the Scottish game."

Maradona is in the youth ranks of Italian second division club Napoli, who his father helped to their first and only Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990, along with the 1989 UEFA Cup.

The possible move to Scotland, which it is hoped will enable the player to develop away from the intense media attention surrounding him in Italy, is the idea of a television company that aims to make a documentary about the teenager.

The move would be a tremendous publicity coup for any Scottish club off the pitch but Calderwood says the player must be up to the required standard.

"We would have a look at the lad for a week and if he isn't good enough, no matter what his name is, he won't be here," he added. It's hard enough having a name like that as we've seen with Johan Cruyff's son."

Jordi Cruyff now plays for Alaves in the Spanish first division after failing to hold down a regular first-team place at Manchester United.

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