Former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson, now a media pundit, intensified rumours that Robbie Keane would be leaving the club following a conversation with Reds captain Steven Gerrard. Liverpool reacted angrily to the news and Lawrenson has now backtracked.

He told the Liverpool Daily Post: "I'm sorry if it caused any aggravation but it wasn't meant to. Steven Gerrard's name should never have come up in terms of Robbie Keane going in January. It wasn't Steven saying that it was me saying it.

"The only connection I was making between the two was that they have the same agent and I have had a hunch for a while that Keane could go.

"But that is my opinion and nothing whatsoever to do with any conversations I had with Steven Gerrard.

"I happened to mention I spoke to him on Saturday night but I didn't mean for that to come across in the way that it has been interpreted."