Barcelona move for McManaman

Liverpool ready to accept Spanish club's pounds 12m bid

Football

Steve McManaman, one of Liverpool's finest home-grown talents, may join Barcelona today for pounds 12m. The Spanish club tabled their offer yesterday and are keen to complete the transfer by midnight tonight, which is the deadline for registering players for the Champions' League.

McManaman was in Spain yesterday having talks with Barcelona, who offered a six-year contract and wages of more than pounds 30,000 per week, which would double his present pay. However, they failed to reach agreement in the first round of talks and it was reported last night that the deal was under threat because of McManaman's pay demands. Barcelona were also reported to have set up a possible alternative move for Rivaldo, Deportivo La Coruna's goalscoring Brazilian midfielder.

Under his present five-year deal with Liverpool, signed three years ago, McManaman is understood to earn around pounds 12,000 per week. As he did not request a move he would probably receive a severance payment from Liverpool of around pounds 200,000.

Liverpool's board considered Barcelona's offer at an emergency meeting yesterday and are understood to have accepted it. It is believed they considered the offer too good to turn down, particularly in view of McManaman's failure in the last year to realise fully his huge potential.

It is understood that Roy Evans, the Liverpool manager, has not opposed the sale. The proceeds would be available for him to spend on players, and a pounds 3m deal to recruit the Internazionale central defender, Massimo Paganin, was being discussed last night.

Barcelona made their approach after Bobby Robson, the club's general manager, watched McManaman for the second time in five days when Liverpool lost to Leicester City in the Premiership on Wednesday evening. Louis van Gaal, formerly with Ajax, replaced Robson as Barcelona coach during the summer and buying players is now one of the key jobs for the former England manager.

Although they recently spent pounds 13m on Sonny Anderson from Monaco, Barcelona are not short of money after Ronaldo's move to Internazionale this summer. A transfer fee has yet to be agreed, but pounds 18m has already been paid to buy out the Brazilian's contract.

Barcelona will also earn millions from the Champions' League, presuming they qualify after managing only a 3-2 home win over the Latvian club Skonto Riga in the first leg of the preliminary round.

If the McManaman transfer goes through, it will be the second most expensive involving an English club, following Alan Shearer's pounds 15m transfer from Blackburn to Newcastle last year. It would also be the second big-name departure from Anfield this week, following John Barnes' move to Newcastle on a free transfer.

The sale of McManaman would leave Liverpool comfortably in the black on their recent transfer dealing. Nearly pounds 12m was spent in the summer on Paul Ince, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Danny Murphy and Karlheinz Riedle, but Stan Collymore was sold to Aston Villa for pounds 7m.

Although some Liverpool supporters had become frustrated by McManaman, his loss would be keenly felt at Anfield. As a Liverpool-born player, he has always had a special place in the Kop's affections.

Aged 25, McManaman joined the club from school and has scored 31 goals in 210 League appearances. He has also played 18 times for England since making his debut two years ago.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there