Football: Gascoigne linked to Fulham

THERE HAVE been rumours that Paul Gascoigne might be going to play in the United States, but that is not what Fulham have in mind. It was reported yesterday that the London side are planning a pounds 1m move for the Middlesbrough and former England midfielder.

Gascoigne, along with Ian Wright and Paul Ince, has been the target for Disney's World of Sport, who want the trio to play in lucrative exhibition matches, but the Fulham manager, Paul Bracewell, is thought to be keen to sign Gascoigne - though success may hinge on his side winning promotion to the Premiership.

Marcel Desailly has dismissed rumours that he is preparing to leave Chelsea for Lazio. The French international impressed the Italian side during Chelsea's recent Champions' League encounter and is believed to head their wish list. But Desailly stated his desire yesterday to see out the remaining two-and-a-half years of his existing contract.

"There is nothing in the stories that I want to leave Chelsea," he said. "Although I'm happy others may want me, I just want to stay and play for Chelsea."

Chelsea's secretary, Colin Hutchinson, said,"We have not received any approach for Marcel. I've spent a lot of time with the Lazio chairman during the Champions' League campaign and I know for a fact there has not been an approach."

One Chelsea player who is moving on, though perhaps temporarily, is midfielder Paul Hughes, who was signed by Crewe yesterday on a three-month loan with a view to a permanent move. The 23-year-old has yet to play for the Blues this season and, with his contract running out in the summer, is looking for a new club.

Tottenham supporters are demanding a public apology from the club following the humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of Newcastle in the FA Cup third- round replay on Wednesday night.

Mark Jacob, spokesman for the Tottenham Action Group, would also like to see supporters who travelled to St James' Park given their money back.

"Perhaps the club should utilise its Jumbotron screens before the game against Watford on Sunday to display a public apology for the shambolic performance at Newcastle," Jacob said. "It would also be a nice gesture for Christmas for the board of directors to offer money to back to fans who loyally made the trek to support their team at St James' Park."

The Huddersfield manager, Steve Bruce, went back to his old stamping ground yesterday, signing the Manchester United centre-half David May on loan. The highly rated youth team player John O'Shea is to sign for Mel Machin at Bournemouth in a similar deal.

O'Shea, a Republic of Ireland prospect, is tipped for a big future at United and will gain valuable first-team run-outs in the Second Division.

Barcelona have appointed their former captain Jose Maria Bakero as assistant to the coach, Louis van Gaal.

Bakero, a European Cup-winner with Barca in 1992, retired in 1998 and had a brief spell in charge of Mexican club Puebla. Bakero will replace Ronald Koeman, who left earlier this month to take on the Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

The owner of Atletico Madrid, Jesus Gil, appeared in court yesterday on fraud and embezzlement charges. Prosecutors say the 66-year-old Gil engaged in accounting irregularities and other shady means to deprive Atletico, its minority shareholders and the Spanish government of around pounds 35.5m since he bought the team in 1992.

Prodigal Powell, page 20

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