'Hauge hitch' in Bohinen transfer

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The Independent Online
PHIL SHAW

Blackburn Rovers' bid to sign Lars Bohinen, Nottingham Forest's Norwegian international midfielder, was in jeopardy last night because of the possible involvement of the disgraced agent, Rune Hauge, in the proposed pounds 700,000 transfer.

Hauge, whose licence was suspended by Fifa, football's world governing body, after his role in the George Graham affair, does not officially act for his compatriot. Bohinen's agent when he joined Nottingham Forest from Young Boys Berne two years ago was a Swiss lawyer, Andy Gross, who told the Forest manager Frank Clark yesterday that the player did not want him to conduct the negotiations with Blackburn.

However, after Forest's Coca-Cola Cup match against Bradford last night, Clark said that he still expected Bohinen to become a Blackburn player this week.

Speculation about Hauge's part in brokering Bohinen's projected move prompted Blackburn to seek clarification from the Football Association on Tuesday.

The FA warned that both Blackburn and Bohinen would face severe penalties from Fifa if the deal went through and it transpired that Hauge had any role in it. The player could be banned for 12 months and fined 50,000 Swiss francs (pounds 28,000).

Among the penalties Blackburn might face are a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs, a worldwide ban from all transfer activity and suspension from football. The FA official added: "We have written to Blackburn to ask for their observations on Mr Hauge's alleged involvement."

But Clark cast doubt on suggestions that Hauge might be working behind the scenes. He confirmed that Hauge had not been involved when Bohinen came to Nottingham from Berne. "I've never dealt with Mr Hauge in connection with Lars at any stage of his time with us," he said. "I'd be very surprised if he was sorting this one out."

One transfer that did go through yesterday saw Ruel Fox complete his pounds 4.2m move from Newcastle to Tottenham. "There was no hurry [to complete the deal] as Ruel could not play in our Coca-Cola tie at Chester and we don't have a League game until Saturday week," Gerry Francis, the Spurs manager, said.

"Ruel is just what we need," Francis added. "He's a quality player capable of playing on either flank or down the middle. He proved his capabilities last season when he hit 10 goals in 40 League games."

The 27-year-old player was on the verge of England honours after playing a leading role as Norwich finished third in the Premiership in 1993, and subsequently enjoyed a successful Uefa Cup run. He moved to Newcastle for pounds 2.25m last year.

Manchester City, who need to sell players before they can buy new ones to help lift them from the bottom of the Premiership, have resisted an offer for their most marketable asset, Uwe Rosler.

Sheffield Wednesday had a bid for the German striker rejected yesterday, although the reaction at Maine Road hinted that the subject might not be wholly closed.

"The approach from Wed- nesday was turned down flat," Alan Ball, the City manager, said. "I've told them there is no chance of him leaving... at least for the time being." Everton are also reported to be interested.

Boro's pounds 4.5m Juninho bid, page 31

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