FOOTBALL: Liverpool to Offer Players in Exchange for Duff
Nixon, Alan, The Independent (London, England)
GERARD HOULLIER, the Liverpool manager, is ready to make a players- plus-cash offer for Damien Duff. Houllier has decided to make a formal bid for the Republic of Ireland forward after sounding out Blackburn Rovers about his availability and will offer about pounds 12m and the option of swaps.
Duff has become a Liverpool priority since the collapse of the Lee Bowyer deal and, although they are considering Senegal's Khalilou Fadiga, Duff heads their list. Houllier has the Blackburn target, Djimi Traore, to offer in exchange and could also make available the likes of Stephen Wright and Patrik Berger. Blackburn still hope to keep Duff, possibly persuading him to sign on new terms, but with the option to leave in a year's time. They would seek a transfer fee of pounds 20m.
Traore, who has played in pre-season, is probably the only Liverpool player Blackburn would consider, but as they value him at pounds 1.5m Liverpool would still have to find more than pounds 18m for Duff.
The goalkeeper Richard Wright has agreed to take a wage cut to join Everton from Arsenal. …