Southgate denies Rochemback rift

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The Independent Online

The Middlesbrough manager, Gareth Southgate, has dismissed reports that his unsettled midfielder Fabio Rochemback has refused to play for the club.

Reports had featured claims from the Brazilian's father, Juarez, that his son had told Boro that he is no longer willing to play for them. Sporting Lisbon want to bring the midfield playmaker back to the Estadio Jose de Alvalade just 18 months after he made the outward journey from Portugal to Teesside.

While the prospects of a deal being brokered cannot be discounted and Boro would sell at the right price, according to Southgate, reports of a one-man mutiny are not true. "Fabio's never once refused to play," he said. "There's hasn't been a meeting. It's a complete fabrication."

Wolves have completed the permanent signing of Liverpool midfielder Darren Potter. The Championship side have paid an initial £250,000 fee, rising to a £525,000 with add-ons.

Potter, previously on loan at Molineux, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, and the club's chief executive, Jez Moxey, said: "It has taken a long time to negotiate but we're delighted that we have finally struck a deal to make Darren's move to Wolves a permanent one."

Wolves have also completed the signing of Stephen Ward from Bohemians for an undisclosed fee, signing a two-and-a-half year contract. Club officials, however, are still awaiting international clearance for the Irish striker before he is allowed to play.

The club's manager, Mick McCarthy, has also given the academy graduate Mark Little a contract to tie him to Molineux until 2010.

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