As we predicted earlier today, Rafa Benítez has started to become impatient with Blackburn defender Lucas Neill and says he’ll be calling the deal off if the Australian international doesn’t make a decision soon.
Liverpool had agreed the terms of a deal with Blackburn, and put a deal forward to Neill. At the last minute Neill received another offer, from West Ham, for more money. Rather than turning down the relegation-threatened London side he decided – through his advisors – to ask Liverpool for more money first. And that’s where things stuck.
Rafa sounded frustrated, a sure sign Neill has to make his mind up fast, when asked about this deal: “We are continuing working on these things but we will not wait. If a player wants to come to play for Liverpool, he must say yes quickly. If he thinks about it for too long, maybe it’s a signal it’s time for us to look for other players. We have alternatives.”
Benítez has made it clear in the past he doesn’t approve of players who seem more interested in money than playing for the club. He accepts money is important to a player, but won’t be held to ransom. If Neill can’t put his on-the-field ambitions ahead of his financial ambitions he won’t become a Red, and in the eyes of many Liverpool supporters that’s no bad thing.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool are disappointed behind the scenes that Neill’s advisors are putting the financial side ahead of the playing side. Obviously their cut of any fees would be higher should Neill take the big money, believed to be as high as £50,000 per week. Unless West Ham’s gamble pays off and they survive relegation, there’s no way Neill can expect to still be earning that kind of money in the Championship. Neill is believed to favour a move to Anfield, something he has described in the past as his “dream move”, but his advisors are trying hard to persuade him otherwise.