Bid to stop Serie A strike gathers pace

ROME, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Some progress has been made in an effort to stop next weekend's Serie A strike with a new meeting set for Tuesday, the players' union chief said on Friday.

Italian players last week announced a strike in a dispute with Serie A over a collective contract which guarantees footballers' basic rights.

"We've made steps forward but no huge leaps. The talks continue and we'll meet again on Tuesday," Sergio Campana told reporters after the third meeting between league bosses and the union.

The main sticking point over a new collective deal is Serie A's demand that unwanted players accept a transfer to a similar status club and are willing to train away from the first team.

The union has said such a stance is illegal but Campana left the door open for a compromise.

"I don't know," he replied when asked if the strike could be called off. "First we must listen to the players as the idea of industrial action came directly from them."

Serie A president Maurizio Beretta has asked the players' union to at least postpone the planned September 25/26 strike to allow more time for dialogue.

Serie A's third round of matches take place as normal this weekend with a full midweek programme then scheduled before the strike is due to begin.