Robson stunned football when he signed Juninho for pounds 4.75m from Sao Paulo at the start of last season. Branco arrived in February as a free agent and eventually joined the club in an 18-month deal after protracted contract and work-permit negotiations. Neither player has shown the form which took them into the Brazilian team, but that has not deterred Robson from bringing in another highly skilled South American.
Ian Holloway, the Queen's Park Rangers midfielder, yesterday returned to Bristol Rovers as their player-manager on a three-year contract. The 33-year-old Bristolian succeeded John Ward, who parted company with the Second Division club last week.
The goalkeeper Bobby Mimms has been released by Blackburn at his own request. The 32-year-old, a long-time understudy to England's Tim Flowers, played only two first-team matches last season after moving to Ewood Park from Tottenham for pounds 250,000 in 1990.
The Wales manager, Bobby Gould, yesterday named the Chelsea striker Mark Hughes in his squad for the opening World Cup qualifier against San Marino in the mountain-top state on 2 June. But there was no place for the Wimbledon midfielder Vinnie Jones in the squad of 19.
Ryan Giggs, of Double winners Manchester United, and Dean Saunders, of Galatasaray, who like Hughes both missed last month's friendly defeat in Switzerland, were also included.
WALES SQUAD (v San Marino, World Cup qualifier, 2 June): Southall (Everton), Coyne (Tranmere), Marriott (Wrexham), Bowen (Norwich), Coleman (Blackburn), Jenkins (Huddersfield), Melville (Sunderland), Symons (Manchester City), Browning (Bristol Rovers), Goss (Norwich), Horne (Everton, capt), Hughes (Chelsea), Legg (Birmingham), Pembridge (Sheffield Wed), Robinson (Charlton), Savage (Crewe), Giggs (Manchester Utd), Saunders (Galatasaray), Taylor (Sheffield Utd). Stand-by players: Ward (Notts Co), Evans (Walsall), Phillips (Wrexham), Page (Watford), Cornforth (Birmingham), Davies (Man Utd), L Jones (Liverpool).Reuse content