Football: Wednesday bemused by transfer hoax

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The Independent Online
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY have launched an investigation into a transfer hoax surrounding Norwegian international Daniel Berg Hestad. Olav Boksasp, director of sport at Hestad's club Molde, claimed on Friday that they had received a fax from Wednesday 24 hours earlier offering to buy the 23-year-old midfielder.

Hestad even went on Norwegian television to admit he was interested in a move to Hillsborough, which would see him link up with fellow international and former Molde team-mate Petter Rudi.

The club were due to sit down with Hestad tomorrow upon his return from international duty with Norway in Israel to discuss any potential deal. But Wednesday officials were bemused when told of the saga, admitting they had no interest in signing the player.

Wednesday boss Danny Wilson revealed after yesterday's 2-0 FA Cup fourth- round home win over Stockport that the scenario was a scam. "We've seen the fax that Molde are supposed to have received from us and it is a forgery," said Wilson. "We have absolutely no interest in the player and we are now trying to get to the bottom of the matter."

Atletico Madrid playmaker Juninho said yesterday he wants to stay and fight for his place at the Spanish first division club. The Brazilian, currently out of favour with Atletico's veteran coach Arrigo Sacchi, is at the centre of a bidding war between his former club Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.

But he responded to the relentless rumours surrounding his future with a firm pledge of his commitment to Atletico, insisting: "My patience hasn't yet come to an end. If I play 15, 20 or 40 minutes, I have to demonstrate that I'm strong and committed to winning a place. Every player who is in this situation has to do the same, although with so many rumours it's difficult to concentrate."

He added: "I've always been comfortable here in Madrid. I've never said anything else and I would never leave here."

There were also shocks aplenty in the first round of the French Cup yesterday as five- times winners Monaco lost on penalties to Second Division strugglers Amiens after drawing 1-1 following extra time.

Toulouse were knocked out by fifth division amateurs Jura Sud Foot 8- 7 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time. Jura Sud's hero was their goalkeeper Roland Nicod, who converted his team's 11th spot- kick in a marathon shoot-out and then saved Toulouse's, taken by his opposite number Philippe Schuth.

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