Football: Robson makes a move for Gascoigne

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The Independent Online
BRYAN ROBSON has asked Paul Gascoigne's agent, Mel Stein, to sound out the Rangers and England midfielder over a possible move to Middlesbrough.

The Boro manager is a longstanding admirer of Gascoigne and wants Stein to find out if he favours a move back to his North-east roots.

"I have not approached Rangers, or [the Rangers chairman] David Murray, but, as there does seem to be some truth that Rangers will let Gazza go, I have spoken to Stein," Robson said. "I have asked him to find out whether Gazza would be interested. I will find out whether Rangers are interested and that's as much as I am prepared to say."

The Rangers manager Walter Smith insists that Gascoigne, who is sidelined with a calf injury at present, is not being pushed out of Ibrox, despite reports of a loan deal with Crystal Palace.

"Someone has come in so we have looked at the offer and asked Paul: 'How do you feel about that?' " Smith said. "He has one or two considerations outside football to take in which mean he would not be averse to a move outside Scotland.

"A lot of players are stimulated by new clubs and I think that Paul might be one of those. I think that if he was looking at himself then he may be thinking that at the end of the season fresh pastures would be the right thing for him and good stimulation in the last years of his career."

Howard Kendall fears he could be dragged into an auction over the Chilean midfielder Jose Luis Sierra. The Everton manager had hoped to have the 29-year-old Sierra, who turned in a brilliant display against England at Wembley recently, in his squad to face Blackburn at Goodison today.

However, protracted negotiations mean the move for the Colo Colo player is on hold. "It seems that people are touting the player around looking for a buyer," Kendall said.

Steve Thompson has made his first signing as Sheffield United manager with the capture of Paul Devlin from Birmingham. The 25-year-old striker will cost the Blades pounds 200,000, plus an additional pounds 50,000 if the club are promoted.

Aberdeen's Eoin Jess is back in the Scotland squad after an absence of 21 months. Jess is now certain to partner Blackburn's Kevin Gallacher up front in the friendly against Denmark at Ibrox on 25 March. Jess's club-mate, the central defender Derek Whyte, is also recalled. He, like Jess, last figured for Scotland in the Euro 96 campaign. Gavin Strachan, the Coventry midfielder and son of the Sky Blues manager, Gordon, is named in the Under 21 squad for the first time.

Liverpool's Mark Kennedy has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland's friendly international against the Czech Republic in Olomouc on 25 March. The 22-year-old winger has had an operation to correct damaged tendons in his hand and will be out of action for at least three weeks.

SCOTLAND (friendly v Denmark, Ibrox, 25 March): Goram (Rangers), Leighton (Aberdeen), Sullivan (Wimbledon); Boyd (Celtic), Calderwood (Tottenham), Dailly (Derby), Elliott (Leicester), Hendry (Blackburn), McNamara (Celtic), Weir (Hearts), Whyte (Aberdeen), Burley (Celtic), Collins (Monaco), Gallacher (Blackburn), Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), Hopkin (Leeds), Lambert (Celtic), McCall (Rangers), McKinlay (Blackburn), Donnelly (Celtic), Durie (Rangers), Booth (Borussia Dortmund), Jackson (Celtic), Jess (Aberdeen).