Aliadiere set for long lay-off after hiding injury

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The young Arsenal player Jérémie Aliadière could be out of action for up to five months because of a persistent groin injury he hid from club doctors.

The young Arsenal player Jérémie Aliadière could be out of action for up to five months because of a persistent groin injury he hid from club doctors.

The 19-year-old striker, who scored his first Premiership goal two weeks ago against West Bromwich Albion, has been troubled by the injury for some time. However, he did not report it to the Arsenal management because he was desperate for first-team football.

"The pain was not that bad and above all I wanted to show my potential," he said. The injury was spotted at Clâirefontaine when Aliadière joined up with the French Under-21 team ahead of their game with Cyprus last week. Their physiotherapist, Philippe Boixel, who also works for Arsenal, diagnosed a serious groin strain that could require an operation.

Darius Vassell will re-open contract talks with Aston Villa later this year. Initial negotiations with the 22-year-old England striker failed to reach agreement. Vassell has less than two years left on his current contract and Villa manager Graham Taylor said: "It was decided to leave it so that we could get the season going. They were a little bit apart, but there was no animosity at all." Meanwhile, Vassell is struggling to be fit for Monday's derby at Birmingham City.

The Sunderland manager, Peter Reid ,has offered a trial to the Norway Under-17 international Jonas Johansen. The Tromso midfielder, who has also attracted the attention of Ajax, has been invited to train with the club in November. However Sunderland's bid to take his compatriot Martin Norbye on trial this month is likely to be delayed after the Under-16 international picked up an injury.

The Charlton captain Graham Stuart has flown to Canada and undergone an operation on his damaged cruciate ligaments. Stuart sustained the injury at Bolton last month and was told about specialist Brian Day, who works in Whistler, a ski resort in North Vancouver, by West Ham's Don Hutchison.

Day, who specialises in ligament treatment, operated on Hutchison earlier this year. Stuart is likely to be out for six months.

In Scotland, the 12 Premier League clubs were £132m in debt at the end of the 2000-01 season, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The accountants reveal that the clubs lost a record £48m between them and spent more than £100m on wages. Dunfermline, Dundee and Motherwell paid out more in wages that season than their entire turnover. Only relegated St Mirren made a profit.

Since then, Motherwell have gone into administration and virtually every club has trimmed its playing staff. Last month Rangers sold Tore Andre Flo to Sunderland for £6.75m, having spent a Scottish-record £12m on him less than two years previously.

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