Boro hold up Ziege move to Liverpool

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The Independent Online

The row between Liverpool and Middlesbrough over the transfer of Christian Ziege took a new twist yesterday when the Anfield club confirmed that the German international had signed a contract with them over the weekend.

The row between Liverpool and Middlesbrough over the transfer of Christian Ziege took a new twist yesterday when the Anfield club confirmed that the German international had signed a contract with them over the weekend.

But despite effectively becoming a Liverpool player, Ziege cannot play for them as Middlesbrough have yet to release his registration papers.

It comes as a frustrating blow for Liverpool, who want to complete the transfer before Friday's deadline to register players for the Uefa Cup.

Paul Lambert has rated himself doubtful to face Latvia in Scotland's opening World Cup qualifier in Riga on Saturday. The Celtic midfielder picked up a groin injury during yesterday's 6-2 mauling of Rangers at Parkhead.

The Welsh midfielder David Hughes has become the third Southampton player to retire from football in a week after admitting defeat in his battle against6 a long-term knee injury. Hughes, 27, has been plagued by a series of knee and back injuries which restricted him to just 54 league appearances since making his debut in 1991.

The Hibernian defender, Shaun Dennis, could be set for a move to Scottish First Division promotion hopefuls Raith Rovers. He has been training with them and was in the stand to watch their impressive 4-1 victory over Inverness on Saturday.

Fiorentina have agreed a fee with Barcelona to buy the Dutch midfielder Boudewijn Zenden, their coach Fatih Terim said yesterday.

"The agreement with Barcelona is already there. Now it's just a case of convincing Zenden to come to Florence," Terim told reporters. "For that reason, I'll give him a call in the next few hours. For me he's the ideal player to strengthen this squad."

Zenden, who played for the Netherlands at Euro 2000, has been linked to Chelsea and the Italian champions, Lazio, in the past month. However, he injured ligaments during a friendly on Saturday and will be sidelined for about a month.

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