Football: `I'm staying in Spain,' says Juninho

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The Independent Online
JUNINHO DISMISSED speculation yesterday that that he is on his way to Middlesbrough in a pounds 10m move from Atletico Madrid. Boro's manager, Bryan Robson, claimed at lunchtime he was confident the Brazilian would return to the Riverside Stadium, but Juninho later said he has no immediate plans to leave Spain. The midfielder did not rule out a move from the Vicente Calderon stadium in the summer, however.

"I am staying in Madrid. I don't know anything about a Middlesbrough press conference," he said. "But I am staying here for now. I'm staying for the summer. After that I don't know. My head is very confused. One minute I'm staying; one minute I'm going. It's been mad for two weeks."

The Arsenal pair Christopher Wreh and Alberto Mendez are joining AEK Athens in Greece for the rest of the season. Wreh scored vital goals last season but has failed to make an impact in this campaign. Winger Mendez has also been squeezed out and the Spaniard knows his best chance of first-team football is away from Highbury.

Rob Jones will sign for West Ham today from Liverpool in a cut-price transfer and collect a lucrative contract. The former England right-back has agreed terms on a deal worth in excess of pounds 1m a year to become the Hammers' third signing in the space of a week.

Last night the clubs were deciding on the fee, believed to be around pounds 300,000 - a moderate price because Jones is out of contract at the end of the season.

Mark Hughes is not for sale at any price, Southampton's manager, Dave Jones, said yesterday. The move follows reports that Everton might be about to take the 35-year-old former Chelsea and Manchester United striker to aid their fight against relegation.

Sheffield Wednesday have asked the Football Association to review the nature of goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek's red card during Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to Derby. Srnicek was sent off in the 57th minute by David Elleray for serious foul play, bringing down Derby's 19-year-old striker Malcolm Christie just outside the area. The charge carries an automatic three- match ban and means Srnicek will miss the FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Chelsea or Oxford, the Premiership clash at Blackburn and a potential Cup replay.

Wednesday's manager, Danny Wilson, hopes to have the charge reduced to denying the player a goalscoring opportunity, which means a one-game ban.

Oxford have been boosted on the eve of their FA Cup fourth round replay with Chelsea by the news that a wealthy hotelier has been lined up as the club's prospective new owner.

The club's managing director, Keith Cox, resigned yesterday so as not to let allegations against him obstruct the cash-strapped club pursuing fresh investment, with a hotelier, Firoz Kassam, having signed an agreement giving him an option to buy former chairman Robin Herd's 89 per cent shareholding.

Jurgen Klinsmann said yesterday that he planned to settle in the United States to give his child a normal life. Klinsmann said he was organising a match on 31 May to mark his retirement between ex-players from VfB Stuttgart and a team made up of former team-mates from Internazionale, Tottenham, Monaco and Bayern Munich.

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