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Friday, 25 August, 2000, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Robson's 'tapping' fury in Ziege deal
Christian Ziege
Christian Ziege may soon be wearing the red of Liverpool
Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson has furiously accused Liverpool of "tapping" Christan Ziege - and warned Gerard Houllier the deal may cause a wage revolt at Anfield.

Ziege will complete a 5.5m deal, but Middlesbrough are still demanding more cash and are bitter with Liverpool's handling of the move.

Ziege is reported to be on around 40,000-a-week at Anfield, and Robson believes it will cause an outbreak of new pay demands at Liverpool.

Robson said: "Liverpool have brought problems on themselves now because Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard and people like that will probably be looking at the wages Christian Ziege will be getting, and they'll be wanting up amongst them or even more.

"They didn't come up front with us, they went tapping the player, if that's what we're going to call it. That's the way they went about the business, and that's why it was a long, dragged-out process.

"I can't blame Christian - he had a clause in his contract. The only thing that we fought was the way Liverpool have dealt with the matter and that's why it's dragged on so much."

Bryan Robson is bitter about Liverpool's conduct
Liverpool will pay an initial 5.5m, but negotiations are continuing about a final valuation.

The German international should have completed his move to Anfield a fortnight ago, but his attempts to negotiate a deal with the Merseyside club have been frustrated by Middlesbrough.

But speaking on his personal website on Thursday, Ziege confirmed he had taken matters into his own hands.

"Today the High Court in London ordered that Middlesbrough FC must release me," wrote the player.

"Therewith nothing stands in the way of my transfer to the Liverpool FC. Now I intend to fly on Friday to Liverpool, in order to sign a contract."

The versatile left sided player had a clause written into his current contract allowing him to leave if another club bid more than 5m for him.

Ziege enjoyed an impressive first season at the Riverside Stadium, but speculation about his future grew during Euro 2000.

He will become the third German international to join the club in the last 13 months, following the arrivals of Dietmar Hamann and Markus Babbel.

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See also:

12 Aug 00 |  Chelsea
Chelsea join race to sign Ziege
02 Aug 00 |  Middlesbrough
Ziege considers transfer dilemma
30 Jul 00 |  Middlesbrough
Ziege to decide future
25 Jul 00 |  Liverpool
Boro to hold Ziege talks
21 Jul 00 |  Middlesbrough
Anderson: Ziege staying put
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