Football: pounds 3m `British Bulldog' eyed by Rangers

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The Independent Online
The Chilean striker Sebastian Rozental, who goes by the nickname of "the British Bulldog", could be on his way from Santiago to Glasgow for pounds 3m and a new career in Scottish football with Rangers.

Walter Smith and his assistant, Archie Knox, met the 20-year-old from Universidad Catolica in Santiago after he impressed in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Tuesday night.

Rozental should be able to obtain a work permit as he plans to apply for British citizenship through his English grandparents. He speaks perfect English and has turned down approaches from Italy because he wants to play in Britain.

Rozental has asked for a four-year contract and Rangers have tabled their offer, which falls short of the player's pounds 4m valuation but should still be enough to prise him from South America.

Middlesbrough's embarrassment over the intentions and whereabouts of Emerson increased yesterday when the supposedly disenchanted Brazilian midfielder failed to return to Teesside after the Premiership break.

The club put on a brave face, insisting that the pounds 4m summer signing would be back in Middlesbrough after his Brazil holiday in time for training today.

"We arranged Emerson's flight back from Brazil and are confident he will be here," Dave Allan, a club spokesman said.

The Boro manager, Bryan Robson, who returned yesterday from a holiday in Tenerife, could only state the obvious - that Emerson must honour his four-year contract.

"I have to speak to a few people about newspaper reports. I want to find out what is the truth and what is not," he said. "Emerson will not be leaving the club. In fact no one is leaving unless I decide it is in our best interests. I have the full backing of the chairman over this."

He then went on to dismiss speculation of a bid by Barcelona for Emerson.

"Bobby Robson has not contacted me from Barcelona or left messages," he said. "If Bobby wanted one of my players he would contact me direct. I know Bobby well from our England days. He is not the type to go behind my back.

"There has been a lot of speculation on my players in newspapers and I want to get behind it all. I want to know the truth and what is not the truth."

Jamie Pollock is heading back to England after his move from Middlesbrough to Osasuna collapsed. A series of problems has left him without pay for more than a month and kicking his heels. Pollock is now likely to be heading for Bolton, who are discussing a deal with both Osasuna and Middlesbrough that could work out at around pounds 400,000.

Tomas Brolin's loan move from Leeds to Sampdoria until the end of the season has faltered because of doubts over the Swede's fitness. The Serie A club's doctors have ruled Brolin's ankle injury is too serious for any move to go ahead in the near future.

Sky in pay-per-view talks, page 20

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