Robson targets pounds 2.5m Beto

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The Independent Online

For Middlesbrough, it seems two Brazilians are just not enough. Bryan Robson is poised to sign a young Brazilian striker, Beto, in a pounds 2.5m deal.

The Middlesbrough manager has had talks with Beto's club, Botafogo, and hopes to secure the signing of the highly rated 20-year-old forward within the next week. Beto is one of the top young talents of Brazilian football and has helped his country qualify for the summer Olympic Games. He has already appeared in the full national side.

Robson's contacts in South America have advised him that the top prospect wants to come to Europe and the Middlesbrough manager has moved in first to set up the transfer. Beto is keen to come to England and the chance to follow Juninho and Branco to Teesside is a big attraction - and he could be the answer to Robson's prayers up front. Beto has played alongside Romario in the national team and many experts in South America believe he will become a bigger name than the World Cup winner.

Robson has been given funds to spend to improve his team after their dreadful second half of the season - and Beto is apparently just one of three top signings that fans at the Riverside Stadium can look forward to. The club's chairman, Steve Gibson, has pledged to give Robson up to pounds 10m to bring the right men to his club in a summer spending spree.

Mark Hughes was yesterday ruled out of Chelsea's Easter programme after the Football Association gave him a two-match suspension and a pounds 1,000 fine for accumulating 45 disciplinary points. The Welsh international, in his first season at Stamford Bridge since moving from Manchester United for pounds 1.5m, had been ordered to appear before a special FA commission after accumulating 14 yellow cards, 11 of them in the Premiership.

Hughes has already missed seven matches this season through suspension. He is now out of Chelsea's home game against Aston Villa on Saturday and the trip to Bolton on Easter Monday. The Leeds midfielder, Mark Ford, can expect a similar punishment after also reaching 45 points - he will learn his fate by post as he was on duty with Leeds yesterday and was excused attendance at the hearing.

The Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, has denied asking the European Cup semi-finalists, Panathinaikos, about their Greek international winger, Yorgos Donis. "We're watching players all over Europe but we have not been in touch with Panathinaikos, " Ferguson said.