Leeds let Brolin go to Zurich on loan

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The Independent Online
Thomas Brolin, noticeable by his absence from Elland Road despite Leeds United's shortage of strikers, has joined FC Zurich on loan for the rest of the season.

The Swedish international, signed for a then club-record pounds 4.25m from Parma last November, failed to establish himself in the Leeds team, spending a large amount of time on the substitutes' bench.

Since the end of last season Brolin has been attempting to find a new club. He did not report for pre-season training and his squad number, 36, indicated how high, or low, he figured in the plans of Howard Wilkinson. "He wants to play football and the club prepared to give him first-team football is FC Zurich," the Leeds manager said.

No details of the deal were released but there was an intriguing quote from FC Zurich's club president, Sven Hotz. "We were only able to acquire the Swede thanks to an exceptional offer from abroad," he said.

The 26-year-old, who has scored 26 goals in 46 internationals, is likely to make his debut in Switzerland in Berne on 4 September against Young Boys.

Blackburn Rovers may have been rebuffed in their attempts to sign Gabriel Batistuta from Fiorentina or Pierluigi Casiraghi from Lazio as a replacement for Alan Shearer but at least Tim Sherwood has made clear that he will be staying. The midfielder, who has been linked with Arsenal, agreed a three-year extension to his contract with the club yesterday.

The Professional Footballers' Association has announced a scheme that will provide six places a week for their members at a Lilleshall rehabilitation centre. The aim is to reduce the number of players who are forced to retire due to injury.

Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief executive, said only 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs have fully chartered physiotherapists and across the 92 professional clubs the figure is only a third.

"Fifty of our members have to quit every year and with this link-up we hope we can reduce that figure with the free places we are providing at this centre, which has an excellent record and reputation," Taylor said.

The FA is awaiting a written explanation from Sunderland after they played Alex Rae in three pre-season friendlies despite the midfielder still having a three-match ban to serve after being sent off for Millwall last season. Sunderland contacted the FA as soon as they realised their mistake.