Football: Lazio say they want Gascoigne to stay

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The Independent Online
PAUL GASCOIGNE committed his future to Lazio yesterday while speculation grew in Italy that his first season with the Rome club might be his last. England's midfield inspiration, who was omitted from Sunday's Serie A fixture with Juventus, will play on Thursday in the Italian Cup tie with Torino - but it seems he may have to show improved form if Lazio are not to cash in on their pounds 5.5m investment in the summer.

Amid reports that they had already made that decision and English clubs, including Newcastle United, were preparing deals to bring him home, Gascoigne said: 'I am very happy here. All this talk seems to be another case of building me up to knock me down. It is a lot of nonsense to say I am not settled. I have no regrets at all about coming here.'

Lazio's president, Sergio Cragnotti, was equally dismissive, saying: 'Gascoigne is a very important player for Lazio and there is no truth in the story that we want to sell him. He has a contract for five years and I would like to see him finish that contract with Lazio.'

Manchester City have completed the pounds 600,000 signing of the Norwegian international midfielder, Kare Ingebrigsten, from Rosenborg Trondheim after obtaining a work permit. Blackburn will sign another Norwegian, Henning Berg, a 22- year-old right-back from Lillestrom rated at pounds 400,000, as soon as permit and medical formalities have been completed. However, Portsmouth's attempts to sign a Norwegian defender, Jan Halvorsen, from the Danish club, AGF Aarhus, for pounds 100,000 have been halted by work permit difficulties.

The Football League have agreed to a 5pm kick-off for the Coca-Cola Cup final on Sunday 18 April after a request from ITV Sport, who will screen live coverage of the match at Wembley after showing the finals of the World Rugby Sevens in Scotland.