Delgado's comeback put on hold

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The Independent Football

Agustin Delgado's agent has claimed that Southampton have prevented the player from making his comeback from injury for Ecuador.

The £3.25m misfit, who has endured a controversial two years at St Mary's, is almost ready to play again after 11 months of knee and back problems. Delgado has 22 goals from 49 games for his country, who called him up for the World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay today and Peru next week.

Saints blocked the move, however, claiming that Ecuador have previously played him when injured, and the forward's agent, Eric Manasse, said: "I'm very surprised Southampton stopped Delgado from playing for his national team. It would certainly have been good for the player's morale and for Ecuador. Perhaps Southampton were scared he'd get injured again - but, after an injury, a player needs to play and Delgado more than anybody needs to get games in. The national team needs him as well so I hope this matter can be resolved."

Instead of flying across the Atlantic, Delgado is now putting in extra training at Southampton's Marchwood headquarters in the New Forest.

Paul Konchesky wants Tottenham to sign him on a permanent contract when his loan deal expires next month. The 22-year-old Charlton Athletic left-back put in a transfer request during the summer, citing the need to play for a bigger club to realise his England ambitions. But while no team came in for him, he was able to seal a temporary switch to White Hart Lane in August, and has impressed at Spurs ever since.

Middlesbrough have terminated the contract of the midfielder Carlos Marinelli by mutual consent. The Argentinian would have been out of contract at the end of the season and it is believed he has now returned home.

"We wish Carlos all the best but felt this was the right decision," the Boro manager, Steve McLaren, said. "Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to fulfil the potential he showed at a younger age that convinced the club to bring him here four years ago."