Liverpool accept £3m Murphy offer

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The Independent Football

Liverpool look set to cut another link with the Gerard Houllier era after accepting a bid from Tottenham for their midfielder Danny Murphy.

The Anfield club confirmed yesterday that Spurs had made an offer in the region of £3million for the 27-year-old. Charlton and Everton have also expressed interest in the player, but have not made an offer.

Were the Merseysider to leave, his departure would end a seven-year association with the club. Murphy was signed by Roy Evans for £3m from Crewe in 1997, but it was not until the arrival of Houllier that he matured as a player.

He initially struggled for first-team recognition and was sent back on loan to Gresty Road at the end of the 1998-99 season. He returned a better player and emerged as one of Liverpool's most consistent players during Houllier's best years in charge - 2001 and 2002.

He earned England recognition during this period, making his debut in a friendly against Sweden in November 2001. Houllier, who was recovering from major heart surgery at the time, said he was immensely proud of him. Murphy missed the 2002 World Cup with a foot injury but remained a consistent performer in the Liverpool midfield until last season, when he and Houllier came in for criticism.

The club's new manager, Rafael Benitez, has now decided to make him open to offers after looking at him during the pre-season tour of the United States. Moving to White Hart Lane would reunite Murphy with another former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp, who left Anfield two years ago.

The acceptance of Spurs' bid comes a day after the London club announced the imminent capture of the Cameroon international, Thimothee Atouba. Paul Robinson, Sean Davis, Marton Fulop, Pedro Mendes, Erik Edman and Leigh Mills have already moved to White Hart Lane this summer.