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Vanney confirms he will sign long-term deal with league; Gazidis says Jones will be inked soon.

By Robert Wagman

LOS ANGELES (Monday, January 22, 2001) -- Los Angeles Galaxy defender Greg Vanney will sign a new four-year contract with Major League Soccer, the player said yesterday.

"I have the contract and Iím reading through it," Vanney, 26, said yesterday after the Galaxy defeated Olimpia of Honduras 3-2 to capture the CONCACAF Champions Cup. "There might be one or two minor changes, but we should be able to get this done this week. I didnít want to detract from my preparation for this tournament by getting too involved in the contract negotiations, but Iím happy with the offer and I will be with the Galaxy this summer in Spain."

This will end, at least for now, Vanneyís flirtation with European clubs, such as Racing de Ferrol, the second-division Spanish club which went so far as to announce the signing of the UCLA graduate. Former Galaxy teammate and Chicago Fire striker Ante Razov plays for Racing.

"I never signed anything with Racing, but they did make me several offers, one better than the last." Vanney said.

Vanney and his agents also talked with Swedish first-division club Djurgardens and with an unnamed team in the Netherlands.

Vanney said he would like to play in Europe, but at a higher level than the second division in Spain. He was reluctant to sign a new long-term contract with MLS, fearing by the time it ended he would be too old to be of interest to good European teams.

At one point, Vanney asked for a clause in any new MLS deal allowing him to break the contract should he get an offer he wanted to pursue in Europe, however MLS deputy commission Ivan Gazidis said the player has been offered a standard MLS contract. "It is a regular contract and has a term of four years," Gazidis said. "Re-signing Greg was a major priority for us and Iím glad itís done. I am confident we will be resigning Cobi (Jones, the Galaxy star forward) shortly."

That would mean if European teams want these players, they would have to negotiate a transfer fee with MLS.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman He can be e-mailed at

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