BARMBY EYES KOP SWITCH
By Jamie Dixon
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Goodison Park manager Walter Smith had been keen to hold on to the attacking-midfielder after a series of fine performances for the club last season that saw the 26-year-old break back into the England squad for Euro 2000. He had offered the player £27,000 a week to stay on at Everton, but now seems resigned to losing him.
"Nick has indicated that he would like to move to Liverpool," said Smith. "They made an enquiry earlier about him and now we must wait for an approach and see where we go from there.
"We have transfer-listed him with immediate effect because it has become an impossible situation for both parties. I don't believe a player can be fully committed in the last year of his contract when he has decided to leave.
"It is a situation clubs have to live with these days - including Everton."
Barmby has already attracted the attention of top Premiership clubs Chelsea and Tottenham, who Barmby left to join Everton in 1996 for a then club record £5.75 million, but he now has his heart set on a move down the road to Merseyside rivals Liverpool.
With one-year still left on his contract at Everton, Barmby will generate an asking price of around £8 million, although Smith is all to aware that a decision not to cash in on the player may result in him leaving on a Bosman-style free transfer next summer.
Liverpool are believed to be offering around £4 million for the highly-rated player, with the possibility of either Titi Camara or David Thompson being offered in a cash-plus-players deal. The completion of the move would mean the first transfer of a player from Everton to Liverpool in 41 years.