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Friday, January 16, 1998 Published at 01:56 GMT

Sport: Football

Blades sell Deane and Fjortoft
image: [ Graeme Souness has got his man ]
Graeme Souness has got his man

Sheffield United striker Brian Deane is moving to the giant Portuguese club Benfica for 1m.

The Blades, pushing for promotion from Division One, were unable to prevent the former England international leaving. They have also lost Jan Age Fjortoft to Barnsley, currently bottom of the Premier League.

[ image: Brian Deane]
Brian Deane
Deane rejoined Sheffield United from Leeds for 1m last summer after spending four seasons at Elland Road. He had moved the other way for 2.9m in 1993.

This season he has scored 13 goals.

The Blades' chief executive chief executive Charles Green honoured a promise to the 29-year-old striker to inform him of any interest from continental clubs.

Deane would have been out of contract at the end of the season and could have had a free transfer abroad under the Bosman ruling.

Benfica boss Graeme has set his sights on qualifying for the Champions' League next season. They are currently 16 points behind leaders Porto.

Sheffield United have been left with just two recognised strikers in Dean Saunders and Gareth Taylor after also selling Jan Age Fjortoft to Barnsley.

The former Middlesbrough and Swindon striker has moved to Oakwell for 800,000, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal.

He is trying to enhance his prospects for a place in Norway's World Cup squad by playing Premiership football.

Barnsley chairman John Dennis said the club had been looking for a goal-scorer but added: "I don't see him as a last throw of the dice."

Meanwhile Tomas Brolin has signed for Crystal Palace until the end of the season.

The Swedish International returns to England after an unhappy spell with Leeds United, when he only made 19 first team starts.

He is still not match fit but hopes to be back in shape inside a month.

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