Diouf in talks with Malaga over one-year loan
Saturday 07 August 2004
El-Hadji Diouf has had transfer talks with Malaga during a flying visit to the Spanish club.
The Senegal striker has been told by Liverpool's new manager Rafael Benitez that he should find another club. Diouf was on a plane to Spain soon after Benitez had returned from Liverpool's American tour.
Diouf has insisted he will not give up the final two years of his lucrative contract, which pays him over £40,000 a week, so the best Liverpool can hope for is that he will agree a one-year loan with Malaga. A spokesman for the Spanish club said: "Diouf was here and he left Malaga almost convinced to sign for us."
Diouf is also wanted by Bolton, on loan, but Liverpool and the player would prefer to go abroad. Diouf was spotted in Malaga at the Tryp-Alameda Hotel, where he spent three hours in discussions with his agent and Malaga's technical secretary Manuel Ruiz. Pictures of the player strolling along the sea-front at Malaga have appeared in the Spanish media. The spokesman added: "We would hope for a decision on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week."
If Diouf leaves he will make the opposite trip to Liverpool's new £2m defender Josemi, who has moved to Anfield from Malaga. Diouf will be another French-speaking Liverpool departure, joining a number of players signed by former manager Gérard Houllier on the way out.
The young French defender Carl Medjani joined Lorient on loan for a season yesterday, to follow the loan departures of Bruno Cheyrou (to Marseille), Anthony Le Tallec (St Etienne), Grégory Vignal (Rangers) and Alou Diarra (Lens).
Benitez is clearing the decks for new signings, having been told he had to sell players or cut the wage bill - although the club have played down the notion that Milan Baros may be a target for Barcelona.
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