Football: Macca is left out in the cold

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The Independent Online
STEVE MCMANAMAN is not being considered by his manager Gerard Houllier and could have played his last game for Liverpool. The forward, who is bound for Real Madrid at the end of the season, will not be in the squad for today's match with Derby County.

McManaman had initially been left out of the team, but his latest drastic step suggests Houllier is planning for the future without him.

It is an unfortunate consequence of the Bosman transfer ruling that players can sign in advance of joining their new clubs and before their contract expires with their current employers and McManaman has quickly discovered then problems that can cause.

The supporters had criticised him, but Houllier's latest action is more devastating. Left out of the team, McManaman may find his possibility of an England recall under Kevin Keegan more remote.

Marseilles want Nicolas Anelka and are prepared to pay pounds 10m for Arsenal's teenaged French striker, but the club's president, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, admitted he could not match the wages Anelka could earn elsewhere, even if the player was interested in joining the Mediterranean club.

Joe Kinnear has left the Sheffield hospital where he had been since his heart attack last week. The Wimbledon manager spent seven nights in the cardiac ward of the Northern General after being taken ill shortly before the Dons' game with Sheffield Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Dubliner was kept under observation but has been given the all-clear to return to his London home. Wimbledon take on Nottingham Forest in the Premiership at Selhurst Park today.

Fifa, world football's governing body, has refused to accept Mexico's bid to host the 2006 World Cup finals because the documentation arrived well after the deadline date.