Football: Casiraghi career hangs in balance

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The Independent Online
PIERLUIGI CASIRAGHI, Chelsea's pounds 5.4m record signing, will undergo an exploratory operation on his injured right knee today to discover if he can play again this season.

Chelsea's player-manager, Gianluca Vialli, has already started to replenish his squad by signing the 30-year-old Danish midfielder Bjarne Goldbaek from FC Copenhagen - the club knocked out of the Cup-Winners' Cup by the Stamford Bridge side last week - for an undisclosed fee. They are also expecting to sign HJK Helsinki's Finnish Under-21 international striker, Mikkel Forsell, later this month.

Celtic's share price soared yesterday, two days after the resignation of the general manager, Jock Brown. On a day when the market dropped by more than 50 points, Celtic's shares showed an 11 per-cent increase.

Mauricio Taricco yesterday became George Graham's first signing as Tottenham's manager. The 25-year-old Argentinian full-back has completed his pounds 1.775m move from Ipswich after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

The Southampton forward Mark Hughes has told his manager, Dave Jones, he is happy to stay at The Dell - despite attempts by Derby to lure him to Pride Park.

Reports that Fifa, world football's ruling body, is to drop its licensing scheme for agents have alarmed Dennis Roach, the chairman of the International Association of Football Agents, who represents England's coach, Glenn Hoddle, among others.

"We'd be extremely disappointed if this was true," Roach said. "It's very important for Fifa to have some control, which is why the system was set up in the first place."

The Liverpool defender Stig Inge Bjornebye has decided to retire from playing for the Norwegian national team to spend more time with his family.

West Bromwich Albion say they will protest to Uefa, European football's ruling body, if the Republic of Ireland refuse to allow their winger Kevin Kilbane to play against Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Kilbane is due to join the Republic's Under-21 squad prior to their match in Yugoslavia a week tonight.

The Juventus and Italy striker Alessandro del Piero will be out of action for up to five months with an injury to his left knee, his club confirmed yesterday.