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Tuesday, 25 June, 2002, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Reds deny Diouf deal done
Senegal's El Hadji Diouf (left)
Diouf (left) claims he has signed for Liverpool
Liverpool insist they have agreed terms with French club Lens over Senegal striker El Hadji Diouf but say he has not yet signed a contract despite reports to the contrary.

It was claimed on Tuesday morning that Diouf had a medical within hours of Senegal's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Turkey in Japan and has now completed his 10m move to Liverpool.

But a Liverpool spokesman insisted the deal was on hold until manager Gerard Houllier and chief executive Rick Parry return from holiday next week.

Open Quote
It will be a great challenge to fight for a place alongside Michael Owen and Emile Heskey
Close Quote
El Hadji Diouf

Diouf sprung to widespread prominence with his display in Senegal's World Cup victory against France in the opening match and is one of 33 players on Fifa's provisional World Cup All-Star team list.

And he insisted he was looking forward to the challenge of the English Premiership.

"It will be a great challenge to fight for a place alongside Michael Owen and Emile Heskey," Diouf said.

"It will be excellent to play in the Champions League and I hope to play against my former side Lens and maybe go over there and beat them."

Diouf insists he will have three weeks off before turning up at Liverpool for pre-season training.

"Gerard Houllier has given me 21 days off, but I must admit I hoped for a bit more," he said.

"I was looking forward to getting away from football for a while."

He could be joined at Anfield by international team-mate Salif Diao, who moves from French club Sedan.


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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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