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( Jan. 15th, 2009 01:42 pm)
Milan frontrunners to secure Agger signature

• Reports claim Milan to launch £8.5m bid for Agger

Liverpool's prospects of securing Daniel Agger on a new long-term contract appear to have diminished after the Denmark international's agent travelled to Milan to discuss a potential move to San Siro.

Agger's representative, Per Steffensen, met the general sporting director of Milan, Ariedo Braida, and the agent Rino Foschi yesterday despite Liverpool's insistence that the 24-year-old defender will not be sold during this transfer window. The trio dined at the city centre restaurant Giannino and their meeting will fuel Liverpool's suspicion that Steffensen is seeking to engineer a move for Agger before the end of the month or, more likely, at the end of the season.

Reports in Italy last week claimed Milan would make an offer of £8.5m for Agger this month to tempt Liverpool to part with a player who could activate a release clause of £7m in the summer. The Anfield club have denied the clause exists but they do face the possibility of Agger activating the Webster Ruling and buying out the final 12 months of his contract at the end of this campaign.

Publicly the £5.8m signing from Brondby in 2006 has repeatedly claimed he wishes to extend his contract with Liverpool. Negotiations between Steffensen and Liverpool, however, have been fraught for several months, with the club refusing to meet demands to double Agger's £35,000-a-week wage. The Liverpool manager, Rafael Benítez, is determined to resist any approach for Agger this month as he aims to keep the bulk of his title-chasing squad intact but the threat of losing the Dane for a cut-price fee in the summer has intensified following Steffensen's visit to Milan. 

Meanwhile Liverpool are to send scouts to watch St Johnstone's 18-year-old left-back Paul Hanlon in the next 10 days. Hanlon, who turns 19 next week and joined the Scottish First Division club on a one-month loan from Hibernian at the beginning of January, returned his latest impressive performance in Tuesday night's Scottish Cup defeat by Rangers.


My own thoughts on the matter... )


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