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Gazza's still Reid target.

Sunderland boss Peter Reid will run the rule over Rangers star Paul Gascoigne at Wembley tonight.

A brilliant show by the wayward Geordie against Italy's superstars in England's World Cup qualifying crunch could resurrect a Roker move for the midfielder.

Reid tried to prise Gazza from Ibrox three months ago with a pounds 3.5 million bid but it was knocked back by the Gers.

But the Premiership new boys, who move into a new stadium next season, want Gascoigne to help them push for honours.

And they are hoping that when Rangers' nine-in-a-row challenge is out of the way, the Ibrox giants will be tempted to rake back most of the pounds 4.3m they paid Lazio for Gazza two years ago.

A Roker Park insider said: "Peter has had his eye on Gazza for a long time and hasn't been put off by Rangers rejecting his first bid.

"He's going to Wembley for the England-Italy match and if Gazza plays well that will convince Peter that Gascoigne is the right man for him.

"There are a lot of things to be sorted out but Peter is hoping that the lure of a return to the North- east might tempt Gascoigne into leaving Rangers."

Meanwhile, Gazza and his England mates came under attack from Italian skipper Paolo Maldini last night.

Maldini said: "English football has improved over the last five years, but they are still rather predictable.

"The Italians and Germans are still the strongest nations in Europe.

"I don't know how long it will take the English to catch up - maybe a few years."

But England boss Glenn Hoddle is confident about tonight's clash.

He said: "I want us to go out and win the game, without fearing them. We are going to give them the respect they warrant but that's all."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:McCARTHY, DAVID
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 12, 1997
Words:304
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