QPR express interest in Gascoigne

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The Independent Online
Paul Gascoigne's future took another twist yesterday when the Queen's Park Rangers manager, Ray Wilkins, declared an interest in the unsettled Lazio midfielder, and the FA Cup finalists, Everton, dropped out of the hunt.

Other Premiership clubs who have been linked with the England player - who could be available for less than half the £5.5m he cost the Italian club from Tottenham three years ago - are Leeds and Coventry.

"I'd like to sign him," said Wilkins, who plans to raise the issue with the club's owner, Richard Thompson, today. "If the fee is that which is being talked about in the newspapers, then we are definitely interested."

Wilkins came close to landing Gascoigne, 28 this month, on loan before the transfer deadline. Lazio's managing director, Dino Zoff, has been in England this week, reportedly paving the way for Gascoigne's return.

Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said that while there were doubts about Gascoigne's fitness, he was "not someone we should pursue". Royle was more concerned yesterday with the health of his midfielder, Graham Stuart, who may have cracked his ribs in a freak aerial collision with his team- mate, Andy Hinchcliffe, in the 3-3 draw against Chelsea on Wednesday. Such an injury would rule him out of the FA Cup final against Manchester United on 20 May.

David May may be handed a key role in Manchester United's championship duel with his former club, Blackburn, due to Steve Bruce's back injury. May looks certain to continue against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Roy Keane should be available for the final, irrespective of the outcome of next week's misconduct hearing, since he has the right of appeal. However, his United team-mate, Gary Neville, is at the mercy of the Football Association, after amassing 41 disciplinary points.

Doubts about Gerry Francis's future at Tottenham were yesterday dismissed by Jrgen Klinsmann. The German, who is yet to decide whether he himself is leaving, said: "My information is that Gerry Francis will be staying. I am confident about that."

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