Diouf case will now be heard in June

Following on from our earlier story about El Hadji Diouf”s future, it looks like he may no longer be a Liverpool player by the time his court case is heard. We reported that Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has claimed that Wanderers are in advanced talks with Liverpool over the transfer of the player that Rafael Benitez values at around £4million.

The following report is from PA in relation to the hearing of Diouf’s case today.

A Premiership footballer accused of spitting at rival fans will deny the charge, a court heard today.

Bolton’s El Hadji Diouf is accused of disorderly conduct following the incident at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

The 24-year-old Senegalese international was issued with the summons after a Middlesbrough fan alleged the footballer spat at him during the 1-1 draw in November 2004.

The on-loan striker did not appear in person at Teesside Magistrates Court to answer the summons under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986.

Instead his solicitor, who was also not present, sent a letter to the court indicating Diouf would deny the charge.

Prosecutor Carol McMullan told magistrates during the brief hearing: “We have received a copy of a letter from the defence solicitors who are representing Mr El Hadji Diouf indicating it will be a not guilty plea to the Section 5 Public Order allegation.”

The case was adjourned until June 21 for a pre-trial review following a written request from the defendant’s solicitors.

The 30-cap striker, twice named African Player of the Year, is currently on loan at Bolton Wanderers from Liverpool.

Ex-Reds boss Gerard Houllier signed him for Liverpool for £10 million in 2002 from French club Lens after he had starred in that summer’s World Cup.