David Dein, the Arsenal vice-chairman, yesterday denied making "covert" approaches to the agent of the Brazilian Gilberto Silva.
His denial came during a High Court dispute over an agent's fees. Jacques Lichtenstein is claiming he is owed £450,000 from the Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro out of the £4.5m transfer sum they received for Gilberto Silva from Arsenal in July 2002.
Dein was yesterday called to give evidence about the negotiations which led up to the deal. He said Lichtenstein had "missed the train" and had tried to "jump aboard when the train was already moving". Dein said that neither Lichtenstein nor his partner, the former Liverpool striker Ronnie Rosenthal, had played any part in raising or developing the deal.
Dein was giving evidence on the third day of a hearing in which Lichtenstein is suing Atletico Mineiro for £450,000, claiming they promised him 10 per cent of Gilberto's transfer price as an agent's fee after negotiations with Rosenthal. The club also deny they agreed to such a deal and say that Lichtenstein and Rosenthal had nothing to do with the transfer.
The agent of the VfB Stuttgart midfielder Aleksandr Hleb, said an announcement will be made today regarding a possible move to Arsenal. Stuttgart have denied that Arsenal have made a bid of £8m for the 24-year-old, but Hleb is tipped to make a move to the Premiership.
Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie was due to be held in custody in Rotterdam for a third night last night over rape allegations and prosecutors will today apply to a judge to hold him for up to 14 more days, the prosecution spokeswoman, Jei Chen de Graaf, said.
At a meeting in Manchester tomorrow, Uefa will take the first steps towards toughening up the penalties for national sides, clubs and players who misbehave and is set to move towards a system where points deductions and match forfeits will be become regular punishments.
European football's governing body has been provoked into action by widespread criticism that fines now mean little to wealthy clubs and national associations and it feels that the system now needs a complete overhaul.
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