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Saturday, 10 March, 2001, 20:49 GMT
St Mirren knock back Bebeto
Bebeto scores against Norway in the 1998 World Cup
Bebeto scores against Norway in the 1998 World Cup finals
St Mirren have decided against signing former Brazilian World Cup striker Bebeto.

The Scottish Premier League strugglers were willing to pay the wages of the veteran striker.

But they were not prepared to take a gamble on a 37-year-old who was unwilling to first prove his fitness by going through a trial period.

It follows manager Tom Hendrie's unsuccessful attempts to sign both Paul Kitson and Daniel Amokachi.

Bebeto, the 1994 World Cup star renowned for his `rocking baby' goal celebrations in the USA tournament, was offered to St Mirren by an agent.

His reputation

But Hendrie maintains that the club were not prepared to risk a deal without assessing the player in action.

"The player is 37 and he was not prepared to come and allow us to assess his fitness and what condition he is in," said Hendrie.

Daniel Amokachi in World Cup duty in '98
Daniel Amokachi in World Cup duty in '98
"The agent said that his reputation should be enough for us to sign him without seeing him and we simply couldn't get ourselves into that position.

"Bebeto is not playing at the moment after playing in Japan following his release from Vasco da Gama in Brazil.

"He is not signed to a club and it would have been easy to bring him in - it is not a publicity stunt.

"He was a fabulous player, but his main contribution to the Brazilian squad was in 1994 and there is a big difference from then to now.

"Our defender Tommy Turner is proof that some players can play in the first team at 37, but some players can't.

"You have got to ask if he is good as he once was.

Knocked that back

"If he was, I would imagine that teams in Brazil would be falling over themselves to offer him a contract.

"Everybody is looking to push a striker on to us, but we are not prepared to take just anyone - we want the right one."

St Mirren had agreed a three-month loan with West Ham United for out-of-favour Kitson.

But the player knocked that back.

As did former Everton striker and Nigerian international Amokachi, who is presently out of favour with Paris St Germain.

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See also:

03 Mar 01 |  Scot Prem
United thump sorry St Mirren
02 Mar 01 |  St Mirren
Saints keen on Kitson
22 Jan 01 |  Football
Brazil fail to learn lessons
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