x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Raul Meireles ready to depart from Anfield

PFA Fans' Player of the Year seems surplus to requirements at Liverpool for Kenny Dalglish.

Raul Meireles, right, could be leaving Liverpool.
Raul Meireles, right, could be leaving Liverpool.
Raul Meireles is ready to leave Liverpool after the club's new ownership reneged on an informal agreement to improve his contract.

The versatile Portugal midfielder, signed from FC Porto for an initial £11.5million (Dh67.4m) last summer, has been offered overseas for around £13 million.

Voted the PFA Fans' Player of the Year following a season in which he was central to Liverpool's revival under Kenny Dalglish, the 28 year old feels he has been misled by the club. Such was Meireles' desire to play Premier League football last August that he accepted a relatively low salary at Anfield to facilitate the move. There was, however, an express understanding that those terms would be revised if Meireles performed well for the club.

Meireles subsequently started 32 of Liverpool's Premier League fixtures, scoring five times when taking on an unfamiliar role as an attacking midfielder. Attempts to open discussions about the promised contract with Liverpool's new owners Fenway Sports Group, though, proved fruitless and last week Meireles was informed that he was for sale.

As The National revealed last week, Juventus have already moved for Meireles, offering a choice of Brazil international Felipe Melo or former Anfield midfielder Mohamed Sissoko in exchange. Liverpool are uninterested in either player, and asked Juve to make a straight cash offer instead.

Dalglish's stance on Meireles emphasises the manager's intention to reshape Liverpool around domestic talent. Having recruited Jordan Henderson for an initial £16m, the Scot is confident of concluding deals for Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing and Blackpool playmaker Charlie Adam before the month ends.

Downing has stated his intention not to extend a contract at Villa, which is entering its penultimate year. The England international is understood to have already agreed personal terms with Liverpool, who also expect to secure Adam for an initial £8m.

"Raul is really not happy because they are paying big money for players from other sides," said a friend. "He loves the city and had a fantastic season there, but he thinks Liverpool do not see him as an important player."


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