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Sunday, September 3, 2000
McManaman looks to Lazio escape route
By Bob Cass

Lazio will give Steve McManaman the opportunity to end the Spanish nightmare that his dream move to Real Madrid has become.

The Italian champions are ready to relaunch the 28-year-old former Liverpool forward's career by making an £8million offer for the player who is out of favour after only one season at Real, following the world record £37.5m capture of Luis Figo from Barcelona.

The Lazio move would end the hopes that Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson had of signing him.

Soccernet revealed three weeks ago that Boro had agreed to match Real's asking price and they were waiting for a decision from McManaman. But he does not see a return to Premiership football as his best option at this stage and would face a huge tax bill if he returned before next April.

'I would like to educate myself further and stay abroad,' he explained yesterday. 'Maybe Real want to make my life difficult and force me out but I take comfort from the fact that this is not a footballing matter. It concerns club finances,' he said.

A move to Italy would suit McManaman, who would jump at the opportunity to prove Real coach Vicente Del Bosque wrong against some of the world's best defenders in Serie A.


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