PA Sport, 2 Aug 2005 BAROS OKAYS EVERTON SWITCH
Liverpool striker Milan Baros is believed to have opened the way for a move to Everton by making it known he has no reservations about a cross-city transfer.
Everton have taken preliminary steps toward a potential £6million move for the Czech Republic international who has been told he can leave Liverpool after three and a half years in which he has scored 27 goals in 106 appearances.
But the key to any such highly-charged transfer is whether the player concerned is aware of the potential problems and is happy to face them.
Such moves can produce anger from one side of the Mersey divide and reservations from the other.
But it is believed that, after discussions with his advisors, Baros has given the green light for negotiations to continue.
No player has joined Everton from Liverpool since Gary Ablett made the short trip across Stanley Park in 1992.
But, when Nicky Barmby moved in the opposite direction to Liverpool from Everton for £6million in 2000, he was subjected to a ferocious hate campaign, although Portuguese defender Abel Xavier had no such problems when he moved from Goodison Park to Liverpool for £800,000 in January 2002.
Everton chief executive Keith Wyness has confirmed on Tuesday that "we are looking at a number of different striking options and we are currently reviewing them all. Baros is one of the names on the list".
But Wyness insisted that Everton had not made a formal bid for the 23-year-old, who was the top scorer in last year's Euro 2004 finals.
The mood in the Goodison Park camp, said one source was "very optimistic" that something can be sorted out, maybe even in time for Baros to pbutt a medical and be registered with UEFA before the end of the Thursday deadline to be allowed to play in next week's Champions League qualifier at home to Villarreal.
Everton will not go to the £7million asking price but Liverpool would probably accept £6million for a player who is now fourth in the strikers' pecking order behind Fernando Morientes, Djibril Cisse and Peter Crouch.
There has been interest in Baros from Aston Villa, West Ham and Monaco but no offers that have interested Liverpool while, earlier this week, German side Schalke pulled out of the bidding.
They were told in no uncertain terms by Liverpool that, after a week of negotiations, there was no chance of a season-long loan.
And, with earlier target Andy Johnson committing himself to Crystal Palace with a new five-year contract on Tuesday, Everton's options have diminished.
They need to bolster their squad quickly after an unsatisfactory pre-season that has seen them struggle to score goals.
Liverpool could do with the cash to aid their moves for a defender - probably Deportivo's Jorge Andrade - and a winger, with boss Rafael Benitez still refusing to rule out Luis Figo.
Liverpool are likely to farm out on loan two French youngsters shortly
Defender Carl Medjani is on his way to Metz for a season while Anthony Le Tallec is a target for Sunderland.
Benitez wants both to have regular football, in particular, Le Tallec, whom he believes would benefit from a full campaign in the Premiership.