Liverpool have rejected a staggering £32 million (US$56 million) bid from Chelsea for Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.
“I can confirm we have had a bid from Chelsea and that it will be rejected by us,” Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said.
Liverpool directors were trying to convince Gerrard to stay despite Gerrard’s agent Struan Marshall insisting that contract talks had broken off.
“Talks have stalled and are unlikely to be re-opened,” Marshall, whose client has two years of his contract still to run, said.
Parry claimed “money is not an issue”.
Chelsea’s offer would have eclipsed the £29.1 million Manchester United paid Leeds to secure the services of Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United three years ago.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who hoped the bid would beat anything Real Madrid could offer, was expected to go back with a bigger offer.
He knows Liverpool would rather sell Gerrard to Madrid than to a Premiership rival.
But Real Madrid director of coaching Arrigo Sacchi told The Sun: “Of course we are interested in him, what big club isn’t? But until the player makes a move we are not going to be involved in a fight for his services.”
Liverpool were reported to have offered Gerrard £100,000 a week – a £20,000 a week raise.
But if he moves to Chelsea he will get less as Mourinho has said he will not give anyone more than Frank Lampard who is the club’s highest earner at £90,000 a week.