Football: Brolin worried about future

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The Independent Online
Leeds United's unsettled Swedish striker Tomas Brolin fears that his career may be over following the collapse of his loan move to Sampdoria.

The Swedish international believes it is unlikely that any club will employ him, after he failed a medical as he was on the verge of signing for the Italian Serie A side until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent pounds 2m move.

"It's going to be tough. Word gets around," said Brolin, whose chances of moving to Italy were scuppered by a metal staple in his foot.

The 26-year-old was astonished by the doctor's decision that he would have to have the staple and screws - inserted after he broke his foot in November 1994 - removed before he could be passed fit.

Doctors at his three previous clubs - Parma, Leeds and FC Zurich - had all passed him fit, Brolin claimed.

"I met Sampdoria in Lyon and negotiated. The only thing remaining was a doctor's certificate and they sent me to a doctor for an examination," the Leeds forward explained.

"It was a purely routine thing and the thing I was least concerned about. And then the doctor said the staple had to be taken out before he would recommend me for Sampdoria. He thought the staple would give me problems in training and games.

"I was in shock when I left the doctor's. I can hardly believe it would end up like this."

Brolin has had a stormy 18 months since leaving Parma for Leeds for pounds 4.5m. He fell out with the former Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, and has been unable to patch things up with the new manager, George Graham, who tried to prevent Brolin continuing his loan with Zurich.

Leeds threatened legal action if he did not return to Elland Road. Brolin then threatened to retire and, ironically, he may be forced into that if he decides not to have the staple removed.

"I don't have much hope that Sampdoria will change their minds," he added, saying it would take six to eight weeks after an operation before he could play.

Reports linking both Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City with another Swedish international forward, Jesper Blomqvist, have been quashed by the announcement that the fleet-footed winger has left IFK Gothenburg for Milan.

The Italian Serie A club have paid an undisclosed fee for Blomqvist, who will sign a four-and-a-half year contract with Milan. They will pay around pounds 2m for the 22-year-old striker, who will arrive in Milan early next month.

n The Norwich City midfielder Ian Crook was yesterday fined pounds 250 by the Football Association after admitting signing for two clubs at the same time. In June Crook was released by Norwich and agreed to join Ipswich - but within two days he returned to Norwich after Mike Walker had been re-appointed manager. He signed registration forms with Norwich before the contract he had agreed with Ipswich was declared invalid.