Liverpool's attempts to sign Lucas Neill from Blackburn seem to have hit one final stumbling block – the player's wage demands.
Liverpool have reluctantly agreed to a straight swap deal seeing Stephen Warnock go the other way, Liverpool had wanted to receive cash as part of the deal too. This cash could well have been used to help fund Neill's wages, instead Liverpool are sticking to their overall budget for the deal and now Neill has a dilemma. Wages, or the greater potential to win medals over the next few years.
He seems to be reluctant to accept the lower wages offered by Liverpool when he has better offers on the table from the often-troubled Newcastle and relegation-threatened West Ham. Liverpool won't budge, especially when they could get Neill for free at the end of the season and offer him the wages he wants. Rafa doesn't like players who don't show commitment at this stage of proceedings, and unless Neill shows some enthusiasm soon the Reds boss may give up on him completely.
Rafa had hoped to have Neill included in his squad for the visit of Chelsea this weekend, but that's looking less likely by the day.