Football: Emerson to leave Boro 'before end of year'

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Emerson announced yesterday he is hoping to leave Middlesbrough by the end of the year.

The Brazilian midfielder, who wants to return to top-flight football in Europe, said: "I have had a word with Bryan Robson and I will stay for the time being. But I'm not promising that I will be here at the end of November or December once the transfer season is open in Spain and Italy. I will stay for now and I hope to get promotion for Boro, but I can't promise I'll be here in two months' time."

Leeds have moved to ward off any attempt by Rangers to approach their manager, George Graham, by preparing to offer him an improved contract.

Peter Ridsdale, the Leeds chairman, said: "We have had absolutely no contact from Rangers. Before all this blew up I had informal discussions with George about extending and improving his existing contract. I expect to see it through to a satisfactory conclusion."

The Football Association has said it is to take no further action over claims by the Tottenham midfielder David Howells that players had won up to pounds 30,000 in a betting coup on the time of a game's first throw-in.

The Everton defender Slaven Bilic and John Gregory, the Wycombe manager, have been fined for comments they made to referees. The FA fined Bilic pounds 1,000 for remarks he made during Everton's match at Newcastle on 24 September, while Gregory must pay pounds 500 for comments in his side's game against Preston on 27 September.