Everton tempt Hamann as Liverpool look to the future

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The break-up of Rafael Benitez's European Cup-winning Liverpool team took another unexpected turn yesterday when it emerged that Dietmar Hamann, whose half-time introduction helped turn Wednesday's match, has become a target for their local rivals, Everton.

The break-up of Rafael Benitez's European Cup-winning Liverpool team took another unexpected turn yesterday when it emerged that Dietmar Hamann, whose half-time introduction helped turn Wednesday's match, has become a target for their local rivals, Everton.

The 31-year-old German midfielder is out of contract this summer and has been tracked by Bolton, who are understood to be willing to match his wages of around £30,000 a week.

However, the chance of playing Champions' League football at Goodison Park would be a powerful attraction for Hamann, who would have to take a pay cut if he was to join David Moyes' team.

Everton's manager has set his sights on signing Chelsea's Scott Parker, who would cost £6m and is also hoping to take Mikael Forssell from Stamford Bridge for £3m. He is understood to want 10 new players and would like to sign Mikel Arteta, on loan from Real Socieded, on a permanent deal.

Moyes has a budget of around £20m and has already spent £3.5m on Simon Davies from Tottenham, and to sign Hamann, who joined Liverpool six years ago, would have to break his club's pay structure. Along with Vladimir Smicer and Igor Biscan, both also out of contract, Hamann looks set to lead an exodus out of Anfield this summer that could include Milan Baros, Jerzy Dudek, Harry Kewell and even Sami Hyypia.

Whether Liverpool would rather give Hamann the two-year contract extension he wants will be determined by whether Uefa, European football's governing body, decides to find a way to include them in next season's Champions' League. Benitez has said "there could be a possibility" for a rethink as he plans one of the most wide-ranging squad changes at Anfield that the club has ever experienced.

The remnants of the Gérard Houllier regime are likely to be swept away when El Hadji Diouf is off-loaded to Bolton in the summer and Salif Diao, Carl Medjani, Gregory Vignal, Bruno Cheyrou and Alou Diarra are allowed to leave. Mauricio Pellegrino, signed by Benitez, is out of contract and four academy players have also been moved on.

Although the club will have to wait on their Champions' League future, their chief executive, Rick Parry, said that money will be available for Benitez to spend. "There is rebuilding to do as, however magnificent it was to beat Milan, it doesn't take away from the fact that we fell short in the Premier League," he said. "It's a real priority for us to get that right. We've got a plan and we're working on it."

The Liverpool chairman, David Moores, has said that it was the support of the club's fans after the group-stage defeat to Monaco in November that persuaded him to stay at the club despite his regime coming under pressure from the second-largest shareholder, Steve Morgan.

"It has been an amazing few days and the best experience of my football life," he said. "The last couple of years have not been nice and there have been times when I have been low. The pressure was enormous at times and I did consider my position. But while I have the support of the grassroots fans I will carry on."

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