Liverpool offloaded Milan Jovanovic back to Belgium late last night, with Anderlecht's general manager Herman van Holsbeeck on Merseyside to tie up a free transfer that would see the Serbian depart on a vastly-reduced salary.
The 30-year-old winger, one of the relatively old and highly remunerated players whose burden on the Liverpool balance sheet was a source of concern to Fenway Sport Group when they acquired the club, will command €1.5m (£1.3m a year) for each of a two-year deal in the Belgian league.
That salary is a painful reduction for Jovanovic, who was in his native Serbia yesterday as his agent joined the negotiations in Liverpool and was expecting to be compensated by Liverpool for the cut. At Anfield, he was commanding £500,000 a month after his free transfer from Standard Liège a year ago. Despite a strong showing in the 2010 World Cup for Serbia, he made only five league starts last season.
One player who will definitely not be leaving the Premier League is Dimitar Berbatov, whose agent Emile Dantchev has quashed lingering rumours that he may be on the way to Paris Saint-Germain, newly enriched with Qatari money. "Berbatov will definitely stay," Dantchev said yesterday. "He's happy at the club and the club wants him to stay. That is all anyone needs to know."