Football: Marseille jettison Futre and Desailly

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The Independent Online
BERNARD TAPIE, Marseille's president, told French radio his club had been forced to sell the defender Marcel Desailly to Milan and the striker Paulo Futre to Reggiana yesterday because of their precarious financial position after their ban from the European Cup over the Valenciennes bribery scandal.

Last week the Croatian striker Alen Boksic was sold to Lazio in the first stage of an exodus that has netted about pounds 16m for the European champions, who need to prove they are solvent in order to avoid being relegated by the French league.

Eric Cantona, who could find himself out of the European picture for a while after making remarks to the referee of Manchester United's European Cup match against Galatasaray last week, has gained support from an unexpected source. Sam Hammam, the Wimbledon chairman, has written to Gerhard Aigner, Uefa's general secretary, pleading for leniency for the Frenchman.

Garry Parker is resigned to finding a new club now that he is unable to command a regular place in Aston Villa's midfield. The former Nottingham Forest player, who has made only four full appearances following the summer signings of Andy Townsend and Gordon Cowans, yesterday saw Villa's manager, Ron Atkinson, for talks about his future. 'I don't really want to leave but if I'm not getting many games, there doesn't seem much point in staying,' Parker said.

The Tottenham midfield player, Jason Dozzell, had good news about the knee injury he suffered during a reserve match against Arsenal on Tuesday. X-rays showed there was no ligament damage and he may not miss any matches because of the Premier League's break this weekend ahead of England's game against San Marino.

Tottenham do have an appearance to worry about. They return to the High Court on Monday when the agent Eric Hall will claim that he is owed pounds 25,000 by the club.

Stoke City have confirmed Joe Jordan is their new manager. The 41-year-old former Scotland striker was in charge at Hearts before moving to Celtic as Liam Brady's No 2. He left after Brady was sacked, leaving the way open for Lou Macari to vacate the Stoke job and take over at Parkhead.

Ertugrul Saglam scored twice as Turkey ended Norway's unbeaten record in World Cup qualifying group two with a 2-1 victory in Istanbul yesterday. Lars Bohinen pulled one back for Norway four minutes after the interval.

Romania's manager, Anghel Iordanescu, is taking no chances with his side's World Cup qualifier against Wales, even though they need only a draw to reach the finals. He has called up nine players based outside Romania and recalled Marius Lacatus to strengthen the attack.