Football: Leeds and City exchange Rocastle and White: Thompson settles local dispute in South Wales

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The Independent Online
DAVID ROCASTLE closed the book yesterday on the most frustrating and bewildering chapter of his career when he moved from Leeds United in a transfer exchange with David White of Manchester City. For the first time in 18 months Rocastle can be certain of his place when he makes his City debut at Aston Villa on Monday.

The swap deal also gives the pounds 2m-rated White an opportunity to recapture the form that brought him a full England cap in Spain last year. Since then, however, and despite topping the Maine Road scoring charts for the second successive season, his impact has waned and he has managed only one goal this term.

After a defeat at Blackburn last Saturday extended their dismal run to only one Premiership victory in 11 games, the City manager, Brian Horton, decided changes were required. It is a gamble: White was City's longest-serving player and a favourite among the fans who so far have reserved their vitriol for the board. 'Sometimes,' Horton said, 'you have to lose a bit to gain a bit and I think we have gained here.'

Rocastle's pedigree is unchallenged, winning championship medals with Arsenal in 1989 and 1991 and appearing 14 times for England. He moved to Elland Road at the start of last season, but has started just 17 games for Leeds.

Rocastle described his time at Elland Road as a 'bad experience' and welcomed the chance 'to show I can still play. People ask me why I was not in the team and I honestly could not answer. Through no fault of my own I was not able to play.' White's signing came too late for last night's game at Newcastle and he is now likely to make his Leeds debut at home to Queen's Park Rangers on Wednesday.

The Football Association will give short shrift to Newcastle's proposal to release Kevin Keegan to manage England part-time. Although its chief executive, Graham Kelly, will discuss the deal with Sir John Hall, the Newcastle chairman, the FA is understood to consider it unworkable because of the size of the job and a possible conflict of interest.

The Tottenham captain, Gary Mabbutt, comes face to face today with John Fashanu, the Wimbledon striker whose challenge inflicted serious facial injuries which have placed his career in doubt. The FA will decide if Fashanu should be charged at a commission of inquiry today.

Mabbutt said: 'I don't know what I can say to them because I don't remember much about the incident. I've said all along that it is a professional matter and there is nothing personal in it.'

While Mabbutt hopes to step up his training with the aid of special glasses to protect his damaged right eye, his Spurs' colleague Teddy Sheringham received the go-ahead yesterday from a specialist to return after a knee injury, possibly on Monday at home to Norwich.

Ron Atkinson, the Aston Villa manager, has fined his young defender Neil Cox for making V-signs to the Old Trafford crowd during Sunday's game with Manchester United - and at the same time offered him a two and a half year extension to his contract.

Ken Jones, page 33

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