Graham's new Hauge link

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The Independent Online
George Graham is facing a Fifa investigation into new links with the banned agent Rune Hauge, after he made Gunnar Halle his first signing for Leeds United yesterday. The Elland Road manager signed the Norwegian full-back from Oldham Athletic for pounds 400,000 in a deal handled by Hauge's partner, Frank Mattiesen.

Halle was previously a client of Hauge's and, like many other Scandinavian players, has moved to Mattiesen's stable in the last year. That was after Hauge was banned by the world governing body from having a licence to conduct transfers because of his part in the transfer scandal which engulfed Graham when he was Arsenal manager, and then advising Mattiesen's player Lars Bohinen in a move to Blackburn.

Although there is no suggestion of any illegal payments in the Halle move, news that Mattiesen did the deal has angered Iafa, the Association of Licensed Fifa Agents. Its secretary, Dirk de Graen, said last night: "It is getting a bit ridiculous. It is a clear case of abusing the system. We have made several complaints about Mattiesen and Hauge in the past. It's obvious that Hauge continues to work.

"There have been sufficient clear cases and we expect that Fifa will take severe measures against players and clubs. It's difficult to get at Hauge but you can get at those who deal with him, like clubs and players. And Mattiesen is first in line."

Fifa is expected to investiage a handful of complaints linking Mattiesen and Hauge in recent deals, but its spokesman, Keith Cooper, said: "It is very difficult for us to prove anything. It is also down to the degree an unlicensed agent is actively involved. There is a grey area that we are concerned about."

If the deal falls through because of Hauge's involvement, it would be Leeds' second transfer blow in two days, following John Scales' decision to join Tottenham. Leeds were confident that they had signed the Liverpool defender, but Scales begins training with Spurs today, and could make his debut - at Leeds - on Saturday, if a groin injury heals in time.

"It was a very difficult situation. I had my medical at Leeds, but I always said I would make my decision over the weekend," Scales told Radio 5 Live yesterday. "Coming home on the train last night, I made my mind up to join Tottenham."

Bolton have agreed an undisclosed fee for Birmingham's transfer-listed striker Mike Newell - but the deal looks set to collapse because he has been unable to agree personal terms.

The former England B international signed a lucrative contract with Birmingham when he left the former Premiership champions Blackburn Rovers in a pounds 775,000 deal in July. The St Andrew's manager, Trevor Francis, who described Bolton's package as a "very good offer", added: "The clubs have agreed a fee. It's just the player who is not happy."

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