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Harry Kewell zu Liverpool

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Harry Kewell has finally joined Liverpool for £5million.

The protracted transfer saga surrounding Kewell has now been resolved, with the 24-year-old signing a five-year contract understood to be worth around £60,000 a week.

The move ends months of speculation surrounding the Australia international, who has been linked with Arsenal, Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea, instead choosing to join his boyhood heroes.

Kewell, who has already passed a medical, believes he has a chance of winning trophies under manager Gerard Houllier, the Frenchman representing a key component in his decision to join the Merseyside club.

Kewell, speaking on Channel 9 in Australia, said: "I followed them when I was a kid and I have a lot of admiration for the club and the people in charge.

"I joined them because I believe it represents a real chance to win the Premiership title. That's what I want.

"You can have all the money in the world but you want to look back on your career and see the medals in the pot. You want to look back and say 'Yes, I was in that final'.

"Those are the things I want to look back on and say 'Yes, I've been there'."

Kewell had been hoping to have completed the move to Anfield earlier this week, ending his near eight-year association with Leeds after turning his back on the opportunity of becoming United's highest-paid player on £48,000 per week.

However, the deal was held up by a number of sticking points, prolonging negotiations which according to Kewell have been ongoing for the last six months.

But Kewell insists money has not been a motivating factor, particularly as Chelsea are believed to have made a late bid, while the Gunners and Manchester United both showed significant interest.

"Of course, it's nice to hear about myself in connection with such big clubs, but this is my first choice and I cannot wait," added Kewell, who has already passed a medical.

"They have got some great players there and some exciting young players. There was just something special about Liverpool and that is why I accepted theirs (offer).

"I was offered a lot more money to go to different clubs. Money was not the main factor. The main factor was my family and obviously the coach."

Kewell is confident he will improve as a player with the Reds, particularly as he will be wearing the famous number seven shirt previously worn by the likes of Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley.

"It will feel bloody good to put on a different shirt. I am really looking forward to it, I am excited and I can't wait to get back out there," stated Kewell.

"It is an honour to have that number, I will wear it with pride and hopefully I can achieve great things in it."

"I have to believe I can be the best player in the world because I have to believe in my own ability. I hope the move I make can improve me as a player and bring out my ability on the pitch."

Kewell, who said his farewells to his former United team-mates and boss Peter Reid on Monday, concedes it has not been an easy decision to quit Elland Road, adding: "It's going to be difficult leaving.

"They are a massive club in their own right. I have some great friends there and always will have."

Kewell, who also apparently snubbed offers from AC Milan and Barcelona, has still not given up on fulfilling his desire of playing for a big European club.

"It certainly doesn't because five years only takes me to 30," asserted Kewell. "You can still play until you are 33, 34 so I don't rule out any possibility."

But upon hearing that Kewell has been in talks with Liverpool for such a length of time, angry supporters have called the attacking midfielder's loyalty into question.

Agent Bernie Mandic has hit back at such claims, stating it was Leeds and not his client who asked to instigate a potential move away from the club.

"Agents on behalf of Leeds contacted Liverpool in January and they contacted us to say they had authority from Leeds to sell the player and there was interest from other clubs," said Mandic.

"Until a club contacted us directly we would not deal with them. I have a letter which clearly states that Max Sport, the company I work for, is authorised to find a new club, authorised by Leeds.

"He loves Leeds but at the end of the day we were asked to move the player on by the club and for people to suggest otherwise is a nonsense."

Houllier hailed the 'exciting' arrival of Kewell.

He said on the club's official website, "This is a fantastic signing for the club and its fans.

"After the intense media interest in the player I am delighted we have finally completed a deal which can only excite our supporters all over the world.

"We had spoken about bringing in players who would have the fans on the edge of their seats and I can't think of a better description for the qualities that Harry will bring to Anfield."

Houllier added: "When you consider the calibre of rival clubs from all over Europe competing for his signature, it's a huge boost for us ahead of the new campaign and an indication of Harry's belief in what we want to achieve here.

"We have worked very hard to bring the player here against intense competition and I want to pay tribute to (chairman) David Moores, (chief executive) Rick Parry and the board for their efforts. Like them, I could not be more delighted at the successful outcome.

"Harry will join up with his new team-mates when we travel to Switzerland for our annual pre-season training camp."

Leeds confirmed the transfer fee between the two clubs was £5million, with a further £2million being paid to Kewell's camp to ensure the deal did not collapse.

A Leeds United plc statement to the Stock Exchange this evening read: "Leeds United confirms that it has accepted an offer from Liverpool Football Club for the transfer of Harry Kewell for £5million in cash.

"In order to effect the transfer, Leeds United has had to agree to pay a fee to representatives of Kewell in the sum of £2 million. The board, having taken appropriate professional advice, felt that it had no option but to accept these terms given the context of Kewell's current contract.

"Kewell currently has only one year remaining of his contract with Leeds United. As such he would be in a position to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January 2004 and leave Leeds United at the end of the 2003/4 season without any transfer fee being payable."


Steht zwar schon im Rumours-Thread, aber ich finde das ist einen eigenen Thread wert.

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AU - schade dass er von leeds weg ist, aber war wohl die richtige entscheidung :(

nur für leeds ist´s halt sehr sehr schade.

schade dass es mit den gerüchten, dass er zu newcastle wechseln soll, nicht stimmen.

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I joined them because I believe it represents a real chance to win the Premiership title. That's what I want.

Die Chancen wären aber bei Arsenal sicher nicht geringer gewesen. Im Gegenteil.

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