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By ESPN Staff

Chinese club hand Gazza ultimatum

BEIJING, June 21 (Reuters) - Chinese B-league team Gansu Tianma have sent a letter to former England international Paul Gascoigne asking the absent midfielder to contact the club or risk a breach of contract.

The club have been unable to contact Gascoigne, 36, who was due to return from a stint in alcohol rehab in the United States on June 10, Gansu Tianma general manager Zhang Tongpo told Reuters by telephone on Saturday.

'We can't find him,' he said. 'We sent him an official letter yesterday. If he doesn't give us any response by 8 pm Beijing time on Monday, we would take it as violating the contract.'

Zhang said the club had complained to the China Football Association asking officials to contact the English Football Association in order to pressure Gascoigne to fulfil his duties.

'We hope he will come back,' he said. 'We still respect him a lot.'

The former England midfielder, who checked into a clinic in Arizona in April, signed a one-year contract with Gansu Tianma as player-coach in January.

Gascoigne won 57 caps for his country and helped England reach the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup. His career has been plagued by injuries, a volatile temper and sporadic bouts of heavy drinking.