Football: Liverpool turn down Villa's pounds 4.5m for Collymore

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The Independent Online
Aston Villa's attempt to bring Stan Collymore back to his native Midlands was thwarted last night when Liverpool rejected a pounds 4.5m offer for the striker. After being told that reports were emanating from Birmingham that a press conference would be held today at Villa Park to announce Collymore's signing, the Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, said: "It's not true."

Collymore added: "I'll be in for training at 10.30 as usual."

Collymore, a club record pounds 8.5m when he was bought from Nottingham Forest in July 1995, has been rumoured to be unhappy at Anfield where he has been unable to command a first-team place. Last week he was fined pounds 20,000 for failing to turn up for a reserve match and on Saturday he caused more controversy when he allegedly swore at journalists though the club took no action in that matter.

The Chilean striker Sebastian Rozental, who goes by the nickname of "the British Bulldog", could be on his way from Santiago to Glasgow for pounds 3m and a new career in Scottish football with Rangers.

Walter Smith and his assistant, Archie Knox, met the 20-year-old from Universidad Catolica in Santiago after he impressed in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay on Tuesday night.

Rozental should be able to obtain a work permit as he plans to apply for British citizenship through his English grandparents. He has asked for a four-year contract and Rangers have tabled their offer, which falls short of the player's pounds 4m valuation but should still be enough to prise him from Chile.

Middlesbrough's embarrassment over the intentions and whereabouts of Emerson increased yesterday when the supposedly disenchanted Brazilian midfielder failed to return to Teesside after the Premiership break.

The club put on a brave face, insisting that the pounds 4m summer signing would be back in Middlesbrough after his Brazilian holiday in time for training today.

"We arranged Emerson's flight back from Brazil and are confident he will be here," Dave Allan, a club spokesman said.

The Boro manager, Bryan Robson, insisted Emerson would not be leaving the club. He then went on to dismiss speculation of a bid by Barcelona for Emerson. "Bobby Robson has not contacted me from Barcelona or left messages," he said. "If Bobby wanted one of my players he would contact me direct."

Jamie Pollock is heading back to England after his move from Middlesbrough to Osasuna collapsed. A series of problems has left him without pay for more than a month and kicking his heels. Pollock is now likely to be heading for Bolton, who are discussing a deal with both Osasuna and Middlesbrough that could work out at around pounds 400,000.

Tomas Brolin's loan move from Leeds to Sampdoria has broken down. The Serie A club's doctors have ruled Brolin's ankle injury is too serious for any move to go ahead in the near future.

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