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Horrible News for Lars


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Viduka stays, but Spurs sign Robinson

Mark Viduka will not be moving to Middlesbrough before today's 5pm transfer deadline - but Spurs have tied up a deal for Paul Robinson.

Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren confirmed his interest in Viduka at the weekend, and stated there had been an inquiry for the Australia international.

Boro are believed to have offered a fee of around £4million for the 28-year-old, who was back in training today after a three-week vigil at home in Melbourne where he has been at the bedside of his critically-ill father Joe.

But Leeds chief executive Trevor Birch, who has long stated Viduka would not be leaving Elland Road during the transfer window, has kept his word to the United supporters.

However, Birch is letting Robinson join Spurs subject to a medical, although the England international will not be moving to the White Hart Lane club until the summer.

Spurs are understood to be giving Leeds a £2million down payment, but allowing the 24-year-old to remain with Leeds for the remaining 15 matches of this campaign to aid their battle against relegation.

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I dont think that it's an horrible news for Lars, in fact I feel it's pretty good for him. It is time for him to move to a division 1 or 2 team so he can have some playing time. Premiership training is good for a keeper but I think that playing time with a D3 team would be better. If he wants to be our #1 for WCQ, he needs to play some official games.

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It always amazes me how teams (and individuals, not the least of which are on this board) throw blame around as if it's going out of style. Kasey Keller is in no way responsible for Tottenham's poor play. In fact, he's kept them in a lot of games they should have been blown out.

Getting a new keeper is the answer. It appears they came to their senses at the 11th hour, deciding instead to target Jermaine Defoe.

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Robinson deal falls through

Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson was today at the centre of a transfer u-turn for the second time in seven months amid an apparent a misinterpretation of Premier League rules.

Paul Robinson: No Spurs move (AlexLivesey/GettyImages)

Tottenham appeared poised to assist Leeds in their financial crisis by paying a £2million down-payment for Robinson, with a further £500,000 due in the summer when he would officially make his move to White Hart Lane.

The London club were willing to allow the England international to remain with Leeds for the rest of this season to help in their fight against relegation.

League rules state that a club cannot pay for a player ahead of him joining, which meant the deal fell through even though Robinson passed a medical and agreed personal terms according to Spurs.

'After reaching an agreement with Leeds United, Paul Robinson successfully completed a medical and agreed personal terms with us,' said a White Hart Lane spokesperson.

'This transaction would have seen Paul join us in the summer.

'Premier League rules however, have prevented the conclusion of the transfer at this particular time because they state that you cannot pay for a player in advance of him joining you.

'Paul is a player we greatly admire and we certainly hope to confirm this deal at the next available opportunity.'

Leeds earlier denied having reached any agreement over the deal. Chief executive Trevor Birch expressed his relief at the state of the club having retained the services of star youngster James Milner, although striker Michael Bridges had joined Newcastle on loan.

'I am pleased we have survived the transfer window relatively intact,' Birch said.

'With regard to speculation over Paul joining Spurs, I can confirm preliminary discussions did take place between the clubs and the player, but no agreement was reached.

'Paul is looking forward to staying at the club and playing his part in the fight for Premiership survival.'

Robinson was also nearly on his way out of Elland Road in July when he looked to set to link up again with former Leeds boss David O'Leary at Aston Villa, only for the strict wage structure at the club scuppering the deal.

With the exception of Bridges, it means caretaker-manager Eddie Gray will still be working with the club's top stars for the remainder of the campaign, giving him the best opportunity of avoiding the drop.

Gray has today received special dispensation from the Premier League allowing him to stay at the Leeds helm, despite the fact he does not possess the necessary coaching qualifications required to manage at the top level.

When Gray was first appointed on November 10 following the dismissal of Peter Reid, he was given a three-month hiatus by the Premier League.

However, Birch has again worked behind the scenes to resolve the matter, with Gray saying: 'I'm delighted and I'm looking forward to it.

'A lot of doubt has been removed and now we just need to get on with it and try to get some results.'

Birch confirmed: 'I am also pleased to be able to announce Eddie will remain as caretaker manager until the end of the current season after receiving the agreement of the Premier League board to a further extension.'

Gray was again working with Mark Viduka on the training ground today as the striker returned to the club after a three-week vigil at the bedside of his seriously-ill father Joe back home in Melbourne.

There had been speculation Viduka would be joining Middlesbrough, with boss Steve McClaren confirming his interest in the Australia international, and with a £4million bid seemingly lodged.

But Birch, who has consistently stated Viduka would not be leaving during the transfer window, has kept his word to the United supporters to the delight of Gray.

'Mark trained today and it was good to have him back,' added Gray.

'To say he was out in Australia for the last few weeks, he did okay, although I know he still managed to keep himself fit despite his personal problems.'

As for fellow striker Bridges, he would appear to have played his last game for Leeds as he is out of contract in the summer and his deal is unlikely to be renewed.

Bridges was an instant hit upon his £5million arrival from Sunderland in the summer of 1999, scoring 21 goals before serious knee ligament and ankle injuries took their toll.

Although returning to the squad this season, lack of first-team chances have forced his hand, and he is hoping to resurrect his career, similar to Caldwell.

The 23-year-old, with one Scotland cap to his credit, has made just four appearances for the Magpies this season, with his last as a substitute in the 5-0 hammering at Chelsea in November

Birch added: 'Michael Bridges was concerned at the limited number of first team opportunities at Leeds and requested a move to start afresh. We wish him well.

'Stephen, meanwhile, is a young Scottish international central defender with great potential and Eddie Gray is looking forward to working with him.'

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