Injured Le Tissier may miss start of season

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The Independent Football

Matthew Le Tissier, the Southampton veteran, is facing a fight to be fit for the start of the season after suffering a calfinjury at the weekend.

Matthew Le Tissier, the Southampton veteran, is facing a fight to be fit for the start of the season after suffering a calfinjury at the weekend.

Le Tissier, 31, came on as a 63rd-minute substitute in Southampton's 2-1 friendlydefeat to Real Sociedad on Saturday, but hobbled out of the action three minutes from the final whistle. He is now a major doubt for the Saints' opening game at Derby.

The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid, is facing a selection problem for Saturday's Premiership opener against Arsenal. The Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and the Slovak defender Stanislav Varga have both been pulled out of their national squads for midweek games after sustaining injuries during the 4-1 defeat to Heerenveen on Saturday.

In addition, Chris Makin, Paul Butler, Kevin Kilbane and Danny Dichio all returned from the Netherlands carrying minor injuries, while the strikers Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn and the defender Steve Bould were already struggling to be fit for the weekend.

Charlton Athletic have continued their recruitment drive by signing the Iranian international midfielder Karim Bagheri. The 26-year-old has impressed on trial at The Valley, encouraging manager Alan Curbishley to pay the Iranian club Pirouzi £400,000 for his signature. The fee may rise to £1.1m depending on appearances.

Bagheri, who scored a world-record equalling seven international goals when Iran beat the Maldives 17-0 in 1998, has agreed a four-year deal.

The Manchester City striker Robert Taylor changed his mind last night and chose to join Wolves in preference to Portsmouth in a £1.5m deal. The former Gillingham man has agreed in principle to a four-year contract at Molineux.

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