Monday, August 1 – 2005
Liverpool have told clubs hunting Milan Baros: We want £7m.
Aston Villa and German club Schalke 04 are keen on the Czech Republic striker but Liverpool insist they won’t sell him on the cheap.
Now Schalke are expected to try to sign him on a season-long loan with a view to buying him. Rudi Assauer, general manager at Schalke, said: “We have not yet spoken about all he figures yet.
“But we want Baros for a year on loan and at the same time and option to buy for 2006.
“If we carry this off it would be Schalke’s biggest transfer of all time.”
Schalke claim to have agreed personal terms with Baros but are still some way off raising the money to meet Kop boss Rafa Benitez;s valuation. Liverpool will not be press-ganged into offloading Baros for what they would regard as a cut-price fee even though the 23-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield.
Schalke plan to hold further talks with Liverpool this week but it still seems doubtful they will meet Liverpool’s demands.
That left the door ajar for Villa after they had a £5m bid rejected.
Manager David O’Leary has pursued Baros since he topped the scoring charts at Euro 2004. He is keen to add to his side’s firepower after selling Darius Vassell to Manchester City for £2,5m last week.
Liverpool still hope to bolster their squad before the season starts.
The money from a Baros deal would allow Benitez to step up attempts to recruit a centre-back and right midfielder.
Benitez has spent £20m this summer on Jose Reina, Momo Sissoko, Peter Crouch, Bolo Zenden and youngsters Jack Hobbs, Mark Gonzalez and Antonio Barragan so the Anfield coffers are all but empty.
Bolton’s Greek international Stelios Giannakopolous is one option to fill the midfield slot, with Luis Figo likely to join Inter Milan this week.
But Bolton boss Sam Allardyce would be disappointed if Stelios left.
The Greek winger, whose deal has a year to run, has been linked with a move to Liverpool but Allardyce said: “There is no way we want to lose him. I would feel let down if he left.
“When we brought him over everyone thought if was difficult for players from Greece to be good in the Premiership but we proved them wrong.
“But somebody can bid so much money you can’t resist it. If that is the case then life moves on for a club like ours.”
(Daily Star, 01-08-2005)