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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Doonhamers want Gazza
Former Burnley midfielder Paul Gascoigne
Gascoigne is a free agent after his US move fell through
Scottish First Division newcomers Queen of the South have joined the race for the signature of former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne.

But Premier League outfit Dundee appear to be in pole position to lure the former Lazio, Newcastle United and Rangers star north of the border should he fail to resurrect a move to the USA.

Gascoigne's agent, Ian Elliott, has already ruled out moves to Colchester United, Darlington, Exeter City and Partick Thistle.

That appeared to leave just Dundee and one un-named English First Division side in the running for the 35-year-old's signature.

Exeter wish to make it clear that the offer is still on the table should developments in Scotland not mature
Exeter City statement

English Third Division outfit Exeter had been willing to pay Gascoigne 10,000 a week and have still not given up on him.

But Queen of the South are hopeful that friendship will lure him to Dumfries.

The Doonhamers have already signed his former Rangers team-mate, Andy Goram, while Gascoigne is also close friends with Keith Houliston, having used the Queens director's hotel as a base for fishing and shooting trips.

Gascoigne still wishes to finish his career in Major League Soccer.

A proposed move to DC United fell through, but he is waiting to hear about another US deal starting in January and may prefer a short-term contract in the UK in the meantime.

Dundee have earned a reputation for bringing big names to the SPL in recent seasons, with the captures of Argentine star Claudio Caniggia and China captain Fan Zhiyi.

Manager Jim Duffy said: "Gascoigne plays football the way we want to play it. And, as well as appealing to us, I think that might appeal to him."

Gascoigne is in the twilight of his career, but Duffy pointed to what a similar move to Dundee did for Caniggia's ailing career.

"He ended up going to a World Cup when many people said he was finished," he said.

Gascoigne has gone away for a few days to think over his future, according to former Newcastle defender Wes Saunders, part of the player's management team

Saunders said: ""Enquiries are coming in day by day about Paul.

"He won't be setting himself a deadline for making a decision.

"He is just concentrating on keeping himself fit and will sit down with Ian Elliott on his return to discuss his various options."

Meanwhile, Fan has returned to Dundee after his loan spell at Cosco Shaghai and should be available for Saturday's trip to Glasgow to face Rangers.

Dundee failed in a bid to sign 21-year-old Steve Lovell from Portsmouth, the striker instead heading for Queens Park Rangers.

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