Real Madrid could put Morientes’ Anfield move on hold

REAL MADRID could block Fernando Morientes’ switch to Liverpool if new coach Wanderley Luxemburgo decides he wants to keep the striker.

Morientes appeared to be on the verge of leaving, with Ronaldo, Raul and Michael Owen ahead of him in the squad.

But his agent Gines Carvajal said: “The Real Madrid president (Florentino Perez) has asked us to wait as he wants to know what the new coach decides. We should have confirmation of his decision by next week.”

Newcastle have also been linked with a move for the Spaniard, but Carvajal insisted he had not spoken directly to any club.

“We have not started negotiations yet but it’s true there are many clubs who have phoned us to seek information about Morientes,” said Carvajal.

“But the probable destination is either the Premiership or France because it’s impossible for him to stay in Spain.”

Liverpool are reported to have made a £3.5m bid for the 28-year-old, which was rejected by the Spanish club.

Meanwhile, Luxemburgo has begun his new job as Madrid coach by introducing twice-daily sessions for the players following the short winter break.

Players will train in the morning, have lunch together and then remain at the club’s base in Las Rozas on the outskirts of Madrid until they take part in an afternoon session.

Former coach Jose Antonio Camacho, who quit after three league games at the start of the season, had asked for a similar regime to be introduced but his request was refused by the club.

Midfielder David Beckham arrived 45 minutes late for the team’s first session on Sunday owing to problems with the private jet that was due to take him back to Madrid after seeing in the new year in England.

Real return to action tomorrow when they play the remaining seven minutes of their league match against Real Sociedad after the fixture was abandoned shortly before the final whistle because of a bomb scare at the Bernabeu with the score at 1-1.

They then face city rivals Atletico Madrid at the Calderon on Sunday.

Atletico’s Uruguayan midfielder Marcelo Sosa began the build-up to the local derby with some controversial comments about Beckham.

“There are 10,000 players better than him,” Sosa told sports daily Marca on Sunday. “All that happens is that he appears in the press and fashion magazines. He is only at Real because of marketing, but as a player he doesn’t worry me at all.”

Real Madrid full-back Michel Salgado dismissed Sosa’s opinions.

“The best thing to do is to ignore him,” he said. “He hasn’t been here long enough to show such a lack of respect for other players. I don’t understand what he’s trying to say.”

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