Football: McManaman attracts 14 clubs

STEVE McMANAMAN will sign the biggest deal since the Bosman ruling was introduced if he decides to leave Anfield during the summer. So far, 14 clubs have expressed an interest in the 26-year-old England midfielder, whose Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season.

The club has made an offer, and McManaman must decide whether to accept it or leave the club he joined as a schoolboy. Real Madrid head the list of clubs attempting to secure McManaman's services.

"It will be the biggest Bosman ruling deal if he does go," said the player's adviser Colin Gordon, who added that McManaman still is not certain to leave Anfield. "There have been inquiries from about 14 clubs already from Italy, Spain and England - but I don't think Steve will be making any snap decisions."

The Benfica manager, Graeme Souness, yesterday dismissed reports claiming he would face the sack if his side loses to Porto this weekend.

"This time last year we were 15 points behind Porto, this year we are just two," said Souness, who took over 13 months ago. "We are in a far healthier position than we were 12 months ago. Obviously, it's not my decision. That's down to the president. But I feel quite comfortable about my job at the club."

The Aston Villa striker Julian Joachim could be the latest player to look for a move from the Premiership leaders after admitting his frustration at losing his first-team place. Riccardo Scimeca has already requested a transfer this week.

Joachim has not yet asked for a move, but he admitted: "It is hard not to feel cheesed off by the situation. I was really bubbling. I finished last season well alongside Dwight Yorke and at the start of this season I was on top of my game and really flying. Then all of a sudden I was dropped and my confidence is not the same now."

Aberdeen's Craig Hignett had held talks with Barnsley about a pounds 1m exchange deal, involving Martin Bullock moving in the opposite direction plus cash.

Celtic have completed the signing of the Swedish international Johan Mjallby from AIK Stockholm on a four-year contract. A fee of around pounds 1.5m has been agreed.

Coventry have pulled out of the deal to sign Rune Lange from Norwegian club Tromso, because of the player's wage demands.

Nottingham Forest are set to sign wing-back Andy Impey from West Ham in a pounds 1.3m deal.

Kilmarnock are the most sporting team in Scotland. The Rugby Park club are at the top of the SFA's fair play league, followed by Motherwell and Hearts.

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