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 Thursday, August 1, 2002 17:02 EST

Club ends discussions with former England star

[ESPN.com news services]

CHANTILLY, Va. -- D.C. United announced Thursday the club will not further pursue a contract with Paul Gascoigne at this time. The decision was made in conjunction with Gascoigne and his agent, Ian Elliott.

The former England star had trained with United last Friday and Monday and spent time with players and team officials with the idea of signing with the club.

"After long and involved discussions and having thoroughly considered all matters regarding a permanent, long-term move to D.C. United and Major League Soccer, both United head coach Ray Hudson and Paul Gascoigne have mutually agreed not to pursue a contractual obligation for the remainder of the 2002 MLS season," said United technical director Dave Kasper.

Known to soccer aficionados as "Gazza," the legendary 35 year-old midfielder has scored 106 goals in 442 First Division matches for clubs in England, Scotland and Italy, and has notched 10 goals in 57 appearances for England. In 1990, he helped lead England to the World Cup semifinals.

"Despite the unfortunate and diminishing time schedule, this has been an enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor, but all parties involved are in agreement that the decision not to proceed at this time is the right decision," added Hudson. "D.C. United is sincere in its very best wishes to Paul and his future and is indeed grateful to both Paul and Ian Elliott for their professional manner and social conduct throughout this exchange both on and off of the field."

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