Weah's blue moon affair lasts 11 games

Liberian striker leaves Manchester City after three months spent mainly on the substitutes' bench
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The Independent Online

George Weah's short but not-so-sweet stay with Manchester City came to an end after just 11 games yesterday following a meeting with the club's manager, Joe Royle.

George Weah's short but not-so-sweet stay with Manchester City came to an end after just 11 games yesterday following a meeting with the club's manager, Joe Royle.

Weah, who says he wants to carry on playing at the top level, felt his future was being hampered because he was not being given enough first-team opportunities.

Royle said: "There has been no rift between us. George came to see me a couple of weeks ago and said he wanted to stop playing in Europe. I talked him out of it, but I think he was upset about not getting on the field against Bradford [at the weekend]."

Weah's agents have denied that the Liberian international is retiring in order to return home and increase his commitment on behalf of the charity Unicef, and said he would listen to offers from interested clubs in England or elsewhere.

City signed Weah during the close season in a blaze of publicity and on a reported salary of around £30,000 a week. However, he has only played a full 90 minutes three times and there seems little doubt he grew disenchanted with his bit-part role.

Weah had moved to Manchester after a similar experience at Chelsea last season, genuinely believing that he could make a greater contribution. But being left on the bench for the game against Bradford proved to be the final straw. Last night, meanwhile, Royle was concluding a £3m deal to sign Everton's Republic of Ireland international defender Richard Dunne.

Preston North End are set to sign Liverpool's Dutch striker Erik Meijer on loan. The First Division promotion chasers hope to seal the deal prior to tonight's home game against Norwich City. North End also want to recruit the French striker Alex di Rocco on loan for the season from Sedan.

Robbie Savage has signed a new extension to his contract with Leicester City which will keep him at the club until 2004.

Tayside police were called in yesterday to investigate Jim McLean's alleged assault on the BBC Scotland reporter John Barnes. The police confirmed they had been asked by the Procurator Fiscal in Dundee to provide a report of the incident which resulted in McLean resigning as Dundee United chairman, managing director and board member. The altercation with Barnes occurred after the 4-0 defeat by Hearts at Tannadice Park on Saturday.

Football's world governing body, Fifa, has confirmed that the Scotland manager, Craig Brown, will be banned from the touchline for the World Cup qualifier against Belgium in March. Brown was sent off for an outburst in the dug-out during the 1-1 draw in Croatia last week and will have to watch the game from the stands unless an appeal to Fifa's disciplinary committee is successful.

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