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Thursday, June 5, 2003

Yokohama gives up hope of signing Brazilian Cafu

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Yokohama F. Marinos have all but abandoned hopes of trying to lure Brazil's World Cup winning captain Cafu to the J. League club following reports on Wednesday that he is poised to join newly-crowned European champion AC Milan.

"If he (Cafu) doesn't want to come and play for us there isn't a great deal we can do about it," Yokohama president Shigeo Hidaritomo said Wednesday.

Yokohama announced in January that the 32-year-old had signed a two-and-a-half year deal worth $3.5 million to join the club in July after his current contract with Serie A club AS Roma expires.

But Cafu stunned Yokohama when Italian newspapers quoted his agent as saying the defender had received several offers from Spanish and English clubs and has yet to decide his next destination.

Yokohama last month sent documents to Cafu's agent asking for the player to confirm the validity of the contract but have yet to receive a reply. Depending on Cafu's answer Yokohama may take legal action against the player.

Italian media reports said Wednesday that Cafu has already undergone medical tests with AC Milan and the club's doctors have cleared him.

An agreement between Milan and Roma has already been reached and lacks only formal signatures, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Cafu, who captained his country to a fifth world title last summer, is the only player to appear in three World Cup finals.

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