United lose out as Lazio land Fish

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The Independent Online
Manchester United have lost out to Lazio in the chase for Mark Fish, the Orlando Pirates and South African international defender who looked to be the answer to United's problems with the ageing central defensive partnership of Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister.

Fish, 21, has signed a four-year contract with Paul Gascoigne's former club to become the first Springbok to play in Serie A.

Lazio, who have paid pounds 1.3m, persuaded Fish to chose Rome following talks over the weekend. Fish cut short a two-week trial at Old Trafford on Thursday. Nantes and Bayern Munich were also said to have been interested.

n The Brazilian striker Ronaldo will miss the rest of this season after being told that he needs an operation on his right knee, his club PSV Eindhoven said yesterday. Ronaldo, 19, will undergo surgery next week on his damaged knee and will need at least three months' rest.