Football: Clash of dates for Gascoigne

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The Independent Online
PAUL GASCOIGNE could be out of England's two friendly internationals in May because his club Lazio are planning post-season tours to South

Africa and Brazil.

Gascoigne's absence would disrupt Terry Venables' plans to build his team around the midfielder, and the crowd- pulling potential of the friendlies on 17 and 22 May against Greece and Norway, would be considerably diminished.

Lazio's spokesman, Mario Pennacchia, said: 'We have a two match post-season tour to South Africa planned from 12 to 18 May. Then we are off to Brazil, although the dates for the South American tour have not been fixed yet. Gazza may have been released last summer, but of course he will be expected to play on these tours if he is fit.'

Howard Wilkinson has reacted further to the claims by Eric Cantona that Leeds were determined to sell him 'at all costs'. The Leeds manager has already threatened the Frenchman with legal action and said yesterday: 'I have been incensed by the allegations. They are without foundation and I have specific evidence that will refute them.

'I have kept my own counsel for 15 months, effectively shielding many of those involved, but given the way Eric has seen fit to re-open the debate about his transfer I may have no alternative but to spell out the facts.'

John Fashanu is to stay at Wimbledon for the remainder of his career thanks to a unique five-year contract. The 33- year-old is to take a big pay cut, down to pounds 2,000 a week, and will be allowed to withdraw from matches if they clash with his expanding business commitments.

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