Date:Monday October 23 2006
Reports are today surfacing on Skysports news that Lucas Neill has turned down Rovers` improved contract offer that would have given him future stability with the club for another four years.
If this is indeed the case it will serve as another huge blow to Rovers as they try everything to keep hold of one of their stars.
However, Neill`s agent, Peter Harrison was quick to neither confirm nor deny these reports. He claimed it was the first he had heard of such news. He did, though, go on to suggest that Neill`s intention is to still leave. He told Vitalfootball:
"His mind hasn`t changed. Lucas is a good guy, a professional, who cares a lot for Blackburn Rovers and their fans but just feels that the time is right to move on. He is playing out of position which isn`t ideal but he is happy to help the club"
Mr. Harrison also commented that Neill`s preference would be to move to Spain. Murmurs had circulated suggesting such a thing and Mr. Harrison seems to have confirmed those suspicions:
"Lucas has always fancied Spain; he has been learning Spanish for a couple of years now."
This news will certainly alert the likes of Barcelona who have been reportedly linked with a move for Australia`s captain. They have joined other potential suitors, Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham, who have all demonstrated an interest since the World Cup.
However, there doesn`t appear to be any formal approaches in the offering. Mr. Harrison said;
"No-one has been in touch and there is nothing under-hand going on. There are no offers on the table other than Blackburn`s at the moment."
Mr. Harrison was also quick to point out that a lot of Neill`s comments in the Australian press had been taken out of context:
"Lucas and I sat down after those comments were reported and he was quick to point out they had been taken out of context. He in no way wished to insult Blackburn when reports suggested he was happier playing with the Australian team because they had better players. Blackburn is a club moving in the right direction and he is aware of that."
Unfortunately Rovers themselves have been unavailable for comment but indications are that Neill is adamant he will leave at the end of his contract.
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Date:Monday October 23 2006
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