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Chelsea make British record bid

July 05, 2005 10:16 IST
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Chelsea have made a British record 32 million pounds ($56.28 million) bid for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, British newspapers reported on Tuesday.

The offer from the Premier League champions to prise the inspirational England midfielder away from his hometown club could rise to 35 million pounds depending on future honours.

That would eclipse the 29.1 million pounds Manchester United paid to Leeds United for England defender Rio Ferdinand in 2002.

Real Madrid are also rumoured to be waiting in the wings.

Liverpool are reported to have responded to a breakdown in talks with Gerrard over the weekend by offering him a two-year contract extension to 2009 on 100,000 pounds a week.

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This belatedly matches the package Gerrard was said to be looking for when contract negotiations opened last Wednesday.

The 25-year-old is thinking over the proposal made at the club's Melwood training ground after the club held talks with Gerrard and his agent Struan Marshall on Monday.

Liverpool chairman David Moores and chief executive Rick Parry were reported to have left a scheduled board meeting at Anfield to join manager Rafael Benitez at the training ground.

They met Gerrard and his representative after the players' second training session to try to persuade him to stay at Liverpool, who he led to Champions League success in May.

Gerrard was tight-lipped as he left Melwood on Monday after discussions with Benitez, who earlier told a news conference he wanted the midfielder to stay for the rest of his career and also said the player should become Liverpool's next manager.

The uncertainty surrounding Gerrard's future comes as the club start preparing to face Welsh part-timers TNS in their Champions League first round qualifier on July 13.

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