Football: Francis linked with Lisbon

Gerry Francis is weighing up job offers from the Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon as well as two English clubs. Francis, who resigned as manager of Tottenham Hotspur three days ago and has since been linked to a return to his former club Queen's Park Rangers, has already been offered three high-profile jobs but says he will not be accepting any post yet.

"I've had two offers from England, and a situation has arisen involving Sporting Lisbon," he was reported as saying in a Sunday tabloid. He said of Lisbon: "They haven't got a coach at the moment. They are definitely interested, and I wouldn't rule out a move abroad if the circumstances were right for my family. But I have told both English clubs and Sporting Lisbon that I'm not ready to make a decision about my future.

"I want a couple of months to decide what I want to do - and then I'll make my decision about where I want to go. I am certainly going to be out of the game for months at least and have a happy family Christmas. If I like not being involved, I might never come back."

Liverpool, who were beaten by Barnsley at Anfield yesterday, have lost out on one foreigner but seem certain to acquire another. A pounds 3.5m move for Milan's Dutchman, Winston Bogarde, has been abandoned, but there should be the consolation of signing the American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel.

The club expect to be told next week that they have won the six-week race to sign the 28-year-old Columbus Crew keeper. The breakthrough in the pounds 1m transfer of the United States World Cup player has come about because the Department of the Employment are unlikely to appeal against a High Court ruling on an application by Portsmouth for the Australian goalkeeper, Zeljko Kalac, that had been holding up Friedel's case.

Liverpool pulled out of the Bogarde deal after apparently agreeing a fee and personal terms with the 27-year-old. His agent claimed that the defender was due to fly to England tomorrow. Liverpool are thought to have had concerns about Bogarde's temperament.

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