Sky Sports News are claiming that Liverpool have had a bid turned down by Blackburn for right-back Lucas Neill.
Other reports this morning claimed that Liverpool had made a bid to Blackburn of £2m for the player, who won’t be the most popular signing at the club based on his past. However as Jermaine Pennant and Craig Bellamy proved, Rafael Benitez is interested in players as they are now, not their past Neill is best remembered at Anfield for making the tackle that broke Jamie Carragher’s leg.
Sky’s report means that other reports saying the deal was already done now look a little premature.
Various rumours circulating in recent weeks said Neill had drawn interest from Liverpool after they found his contract was nearing its end. One story was that the player had a clause in his contract allowing him to buy out the rest of his deal, although the BBC are reporting that it is in fact a new FIFA ruling that allows players over 28 to buy out the remainder of their contracts if they have one year left to run. Even so, the player is allowed to speak to other clubs from January under the terms of the Bosman ruling.
Neill’s English agent Peter Harrison spoke about how Neill wouldn’t be signing a new deal with Rovers, who now need to decide if they want to cash in on the player or let him go free at the end of the season. Harrison said: “They have made an offer which Lucas has declined – he is not going to be signing a new contract at Blackburn. He has enjoyed his time there, he loves the club and the fans; he just feels it is time for a change.”