Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fab News!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fab News!

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Paylor

Brazilian midfielder Fabio Rochemback could yet make a dramatic contribution to Boro's UEFA Cup campaign.

Boro intend to press UEFA next month for clarification over a new rule which may allow the 23-year-old to make a surprise return to European competition.

Rochemback has played in Europe already for Sporting Lisbon which, in the past, would have ruled him out of European competition with a new club for the whole of the season.

But the newly-instituted UEFA rule offers hope for the Brazilian, even though the wording of the rule still doesn't make the situation crystal clear.

Under the revised rules, Boro can register three new players for the next round of the UEFA Cup in February.

One of these three players can be a player who started the season with a club which played in a different European competition from his new club.

Sporting started the current campaign in the Champions League, and Rochemback played in the Portuguese side's opening games in this competition.

Under the blunt reading of the new UEFA rule, Rochemback would now be clear to play for Boro in the UEFA Cup from February onwards.

However, Sporting were knocked out of the Champions League at the first attempt, and ended up playing in the UEFA Cup.

This second appearance in a different competition is the dark area which is not covered by the new rule.

I understand that Boro have already pointed out to UEFA that the rule is ambiguous, and they will seek official clarification next month.

If Boro are given the green light by UEFA to register Rochemback then they will do so - hopefully along with two new January signings.

Steve McClaren has made no secret of the fact that he wants to strengthen his squad, with an orthodox midfielder, a left-winger and a right-back his major targets.

One player he will keep in mind is Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands, who scored the first hat-trick of his career in Scotland against Kilmarnock at the weekend. …

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