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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Reds ready to bide time for Neill
Lucas Neill
Neill played for Australia at the World Cup
Liverpool have not written off making a move for Blackburn full-back Lucas Neill in the January transfer window.

The Reds had been tipped to sign the Australian international on deadline day despite a 2m offer being rejected.

"I know Lucas Neill really wanted to come here and maybe there will be a possibility in the future," said Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

"It was disappointing. We tried but in the end the situation was impossible. We'll analyse the market in January."

Blackburn had hoped to bridge the difference in valuation by getting Stephen Warnock in part exchange.

But Benitez was adamant that the 24-year-old was not leaving Anfield and instead waited to fund any move for Neill by offloading Jan Kromkamp.

"We had to wait until the last minute because we needed the money from the Kromkamp sale to PSV Eindhoven," Benitez added.

"We knew there was a small risk doing this, but maybe we can do more business with a right-back in January.

"Blackburn wanted to sign Warnock, but we made it clear we wanted to keep the player.

He is with us and we are still very hopeful that he'll sign a new contract

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes on Lucas Neill

"The conversations I had with Blackburn were friendly and they are good people, but in the end we had to say 'OK, we cannot do it'."

Rovers boss Mark Hughes insists Neill, 28, will remain focused on Blackburn despite the disappointment of missing out on his dream move.

Hughes said: "In the end I think we showed to Lucas that possibly we were more committed to him than Liverpool were prepared to commit and I think he understood that in the end.

"He is with us and we are still very hopeful that he'll sign a new contract but I think now we can just concentrate on playing our football and put this episode behind us.

"I think we saw from his performance at the weekend that he was fully focused, I gave him the captain's armband because I knew that side of his character is good and he was able to deal with the pressure that was surrounding him leading up to the window closing.

"We'll see him on Monday and I've no doubt he'll approach his job in exactly the same way as he did before the interest from Liverpool."

Neill is in the final year of his contract and has told Blackburn he will not be signing another deal.



SEE ALSO
Kromkamp leaves Liverpool for PSV
31 Aug 06 |  Liverpool
Reaction to deadline day deals
01 Sep 06 |  Premiership


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