Ian Rush yesterday left Liverpool after 16 years to join the club he scored his first senior goal against. The 34-year-old Welsh international striker is moving to Leeds United on a free transfer after agreeing a two-year deal which will start on 1 July. Liverpool will pay his wages in the interim.
"He is as significant and as important a signing as I have made," Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds United manager, said. "I tried to sign him four years ago and have no doubts about his hunger for the game. He will be a terrific influence."
Rush, who won five championship medals with Liverpool from 1982 to 1990, said: "I am not used to being second best. I believe I can go on and play for another two or three years. I am fresh because I played so little football last season. There was a lot of interest from America, Europe, Japan and Australia, but I want to prove I can play in the Premiership."
He scored the first of his 346 goals for Liverpool against Leeds in 1979 and went on to make 660 appearances. The rise of the Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore partnership finally persuaded him to seek pastures new.
John Collins, the 28-year-old midfielder who is out of contract after six years at Celtic, was yesterday reported to have joined Monaco in a three-year deal.
French internationals are cashing in on the rise in the standing of their nation's football by making lucrative moves. Youri Djorkaeff has left Paris St-Germain in a pounds 4m transfer to Internazionale. In Italy's Serie A, he will renew acquaintance with his former team-mate Daniel Bravo, and Monaco's Lilian Thuram, who have joined Parma.
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