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Dowie nets Ecuador icon

August 18 2004

Ivan Kaviedes

Ivan Kaviedes

Iain Dowie is on the verge of signing a South American football "icon" in Ecuadorian international striker Ivan Kaviedes, and wants three more signings before transfer windows closes on August 31, by Joseph O'Shea.

The 26-year-old striker has impressed Dowie on a two week trial at Palace's Beckenham training ground and is set to sign from Ecuador's Barcelona de Guayaquil on a one year loan deal.

Dowie said: "Ivan Kaviedes is a player that I admire greatly. Hes still here and that might happen.

"He is an icon in Ecuadorian football, hes an outstanding footballer. Hes come on trial here and hes shown good motivation in training. Hes been a breath of fresh air. Hes an outstanding finisher and free kick specialist."

Kaviedes scored a record 43 goals in one season for Emelec in 1998 and made his international debut in a 5-1 friendly defeat against Brazil in October of that year.

He had spells at Perugia in Italy, Spanish clubs Celta Vigo and Valladolid, and Puebla in Mexico, without ever establishing himself, before joining current club Barcelona de Guayaquil.

But despite his problems settling at a club level his international career has blossomed and he scored the goal that helped Ecuador qualify for the 2002 World Cup.

Dowie added: "He was an outstanding talent and still is. If you get him a lot of the ball hes a proper player."

Kaviedes reportedly said: "I am delighted to be getting a chance to play in England, and very happy it is with Crystal Palace. I've had a very demanding pre-season here.

"He (Dowie) is a great man and if anyone can help the club achieve what they want it is him."

Kaviedes is the first of four signings Dowie hopes to have over the line before the transfer window closes, and 33-year-old national teammate Angel "The Knife" Fernandez could be next. The left sided midfielder plays for El Nacional and has amassed over 60 caps since 1991.

West Brom left back Neil Clement is also a reported 125,000 target. The 25-year-old arrived at The Hawthorns for 100,000 from Chelsea in 2000 and has made 193 appearances, scoring 22 goals, but Gary Megson may be willing to cash in, because he only has a year left on his contract.

If the move goes through, Clement will join stepfather, Mike Kelly, who is goalkeeping coach at Selhurst Park.

Dowie said: "We could do with another left sided player and centrally we need someone. We need three or four players, more four than three to be honest."

An undisclosed bid for West Ham midfielder Michael Carrick remains on the table, but Palace face competition from at least three other clubs and it couldcome down to the player's personal choice.

Dowie said: "We would have liked to have got Michael on board, but we will keep beating at the drum. We wont walk away from it."

Brentford midfielder Chris Hargreaves, 31, is another reported target, despite joining the Bees on a free transfer from Northampton this summer.

- Danny Butterfield (hamstring) and Neil Shipperley (tendonitis) are close to returning to training, but wont be back in first team contention for three weeks. Darren Powell has a tight hamstring, but Mikele Leigertwood has taken a knock on his knee in a training ground tackle with Sandor Torghelle.

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