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Tuesday, 29 August, 2000, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
Ziege cleared for Reds
Gary McAllister and Christian Ziege
Christian Ziege set to link up with Gary McAllister
Liverpool have confirmed that Christian Ziege has finally been registered as their player.

Ziege's release from Middlesbrough has been a long-running saga, despite the fact he signed a contract with Liverpool at the weekend.

A Liverpool spokesman said: "We can confirm that Christian Ziege is now a Liverpool player."

Crucially, Ziege will now be eligible for the Reds' Uefa Cup campaign, with all players needing to be registered by August 31.

Ziege last week won a High Court action against Middlesbrough, who had been blocking his 5.5million move to Anfield.

Release clause

Ziege claimed that he had a release clause in his contract that he could move to a club who met the 5.5million price, and this clause was upheld by the court.

Middlesbrough have bitterly contested the move for almost two months, and have asked the FA to look into the details of the move, and Liverpool's involvement.

He's a very experienced defender and will add something to the left side of our team
  Gerard Houllier

The Riverside club are particularly upset that the Anfield club were aware of the contents of Ziege's contract.

The German defender's departure from Boro was able to be confirmed when Liverpool received notification from the FA and the Premier League that the player was registered with them.

Ziege will now join his fellow German internationals at Anfield, Markus Babbel and Dietmar Hamann, and his debut could be against Aston Villa on 6 September, although his lack of match practice may prolong this.

Christian Ziege
Ziege: Short of match practice

He has remained in Germany since the summer and trained with a local club, having played just one match - for his country in August - since he was part of the German side that lost to England in the European Championships.

Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier said: "I am pleased to have him, he's a very experienced defender and will add something to the left side of our team.

"Obviously I would have preferred to have had him at the beginning of the season."

Liverpool sold left-back Dominic Matteo to Leeds when they believed the Ziege deal was going through.

But the delays have meant teenager Djimi Traore has been blooded at left back, and Ziege's arrival will allow Houllier to give the youngster a well-earned rest.

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25 Aug 00 |  Football
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