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Thursday, November 19, 1998 Published at 19:38 GMT

Macca race hots up

Steve McManaman takes evasive action against Coventry

Liverpool and England star Steve McManaman is one of the most sought after players in Europe.

The 26-year-old's contract expires at the end of the season and it has been strongly rumoured that he will join Spanish giants Real Madrid.

But his advisor, Colin Gordon, claims Real are one of 14 clubs interested in McManaman.

"There have been talks between Liverpool and Real Madrid, but contrary to popular belief, they were not over Steve," he said.

"Real have expressed an interest in him but they are one of about 14 clubs who have done that and nothing more has happened."

Colin Gordon: 'Steve's been a fantastic servant for Liverpool'
Gerard Houllier is expected to underatke a major shake-up of the Liverpool playing staff after being put in sole charge of the team following the departure of Roy Evans.

McManaman, who is currently out of action with an Achilles tendon injury, has been offered a new deal to stay at Anfield and has still not made a firm decision on his future plans.

Gordon revealed there has been interest from Italy, Spain and other English clubs and said: "Steve is a very level-headed lad and accepts the fact that speculation stories are the nature of the industry he works in.

"It is not a problem to him in actual fact it is very flattering."

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