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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Asprilla snubs Darlington
Asprilla pictured during his Newcastle days
Asprilla was a big hit at Newcastle
Darlington's audacious bid to sign Faustino Asprilla has collapsed after the player twice failed to turn up for a medical.

The Colombian is now believed by club officials to be in the Middle East.


We offered him 20% of the gate receipts, plus salary, a car and a flat rent free
George Reynolds

The Quakers thought the deal to sign the ex-Newcastle star was completed and even paraded Asprilla before the crowd at Feethams on Tuesday.

They were also convinced the player would put pen to paper on a two-year contract after obtaining a work permit from the Home Office on appeal.

Darlington Chairman George Reynolds admitted he was "gutted" and blamed Asprilla for the breakdown.

Reynolds said the player flew out of Newcastle Airport at 0450 BST on Friday, heading for a Middle East destination, where its believed he had already lined up a club.

"We made him a fantastic offer and I thought it was all in place. I am absolutely devastated," Reynolds told Sky Sports.

"We're friends, myself and Faustino. I wined and dined him - but he knew about this alternative offer two to three days ago.

"He did not even have the decency to say goodbye.

"We offered him 20% of the gate receipts, plus salary, plus a car, plus a flat rent free.

"I'll never ever talk to him again. He's completely sunk me."

Reynolds, though, maintained the sour incident would not stop everyone at the club striving to bring them success.

"We must all put this behind us, move forward and we are all in this together.

"United we stand, parted we fall," he said.

The news will come as a bitter blow to Quakers fans who were celebrating on Thursday after the club finally managed to secure a work permit for Asprilla.

The Home Office had initially refused the 32-year-old a permit, but the Third Division side successfully appealed against the decision.

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Darlington chairman George Reynolds
"I'm absolutely gutted"
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