Liverpool set to end Berger hunt

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The Independent Online
Football

Liverpool are ready to end their attempts to sign the Czech Republic playmaker Patrik Berger from Borussia Dortmund. Roy Evans, the Anfield manager, has been frustrated by the German champions, who are keen to hang on to Berger even though the player has expressed a desire to play for Liverpool.

"We have told Dortmund if we don't get a decision by tomorrow, we will pull out of the deal," Evans said yesterday. "They told us they would give us an answer this weekend, but we haven't heard from them."

Honours ended even in yesterday's pre-season Merseyside derby as Everton and Liverpool drew 0-0 at Goodison Park. The two sides shared third place in the Sir John Moores Centenary Trophy, which was won by Borussia Monchengladbach, thanks to a 3-2 win over Porto.

On Saturday Liverpool had lost 2-0 to the Portuguese champions while Everton were beaten on penalties by the German Bundesliga side. Meanwhile Joe Royle, the Everton manager, dismissed reports that Everton have mounted an ambitious bid for Bayern Munich's former Tottenham forward, Jurgen Klinsmann.

Jack Walker, the multi-millionaire Blackburn Rovers owner, travelled from his Jersey home to Lancashire for crisis talks with Alan Shearer yesterday in an attempt to keep the England striker at Ewood Park.

Shearer met the Rovers manager, Ray Harford, and the chairman, Robert Coar, for talks on Saturday as speculation continued about his future. Manchester United, Newcastle and Rangers plus clubs from Italy and Spain have been linked with the Euro 96 top scorer.

Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager who watched his side beat an FAI National XI 4-1 in Dublin yesterday, said: "We have put in a genuine offer for Shearer but they are inclined to get irritable in that part of the country if we press the issue. To suggest that he will become a United player is not a runner at present.''

The winger Mark Walters has left Southampton on a free transfer and joined First Division Swindon, who have also signed the Heart of Midlothian midfield player Scott Leitch for an undisclosed fee.

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