Saturday, February 2, 2008

Alves set for Middlesbrough despite dispute

Southgate confident deal for Alves will remain despite AZ Alkmaar dispute

Gareth Southgate is confident there is no case to answer despite AZ Alkmaar's claims of a pre-contract agreement with Alfonso Alves, the Heerenveen player, who signed a four and a half year deal with Middlesbrough on Thursday. Alkmaar say they will take their case to Fifa, despite the Dutch FA already ruling that the agreement is invalid.

Alves, reportedly signed for a £12m fee, completely refutes the claim, and Southgate said: "The only thing that can happen is there could be compensation between Heerenveen and Alkmaar."

Of more concern to Southgate is the fact that the player is unlikely to be available for Sunday's Tyne-Tees derby against Newcastle at St James' Park. The player spent most of Friday queuing for a UK visa at the British Embassy in Amsterdam and it is doubtful his visa will clear in time.


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