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Monday, 15 May, 2000, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Leeds snap up Dacourt
Oliver dacourt
Olivier Dacourt during his Everton days
Leeds United have signed French midfielder Olivier Dacourt in a deal worth 8.3m - a club record signing.

Chairman Peter Ridsdale confirmed that Dacourt had agreed to join from French side Lens and said that the West Yorkshire side would probably set another new transfer mark before the summer was over.

The fact that we're in the Champions League can only help in our plans in the close season

David O'Leary

The former Everton star, who passed an Elland Road medical last week, has agreed a five-year deal with his advisers.

He will complete signing formalities upon his return from holiday.

A Leeds spokesman said: "We have reached an agreement with Lens for the signing of Olivier Dacourt.

"He has passed a medical and the personal terms shouldn't be a problem."

Meanwhile, Peter Ridsdale said that Leeds would be opening their chequebook again to bring in a specific group of players.

Breaking new ground

"We have a great team and we will definitey be adding further to the quality of the side," said Ridsdale.

"This is the first of a relatively short list of talented players we are hoping to attract to Leeds.

"The one prediction I can give you before next season starts is that the fee will probably be broken yet again."

Dacourt left Goodison Park in June last year in a 6.5million deal with the former French champions.

He played his final game for Lens against Strasbourg at the weekend, which they won 3-0.

The signing of Dacourt has shattered Leeds' record transfer fee of 5m, paid to Sunderland last summer for Michael Bridges.

Champion ambition

And with Champions League football guaranteed at Elland Road next season, bosses believe there could be more big name signings.

Other top names linked to Leeds include Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, Celtic forward Mark Viduka and West Ham defender Rio Ferdinand.

Manager David O'Leary said: "The fact that we're in the Champions League can only help in our plans in the close season."

Leeds United had not made any secret of their intention to sign Dacourt.

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