By Darren Lewis
Manchester City have rocked Liverpool with a £13million bid for defender Daniel Agger.
Liverpool now face a major fight to keep Agger, 27, with Real Madrid and Barcelona also interested.
The Premier League champions lodged their bid with Liverpool last week and had it rejected.
But Agger has already told Anfield chief Brendan Rodgers that he wants out.
The Danish centre-back is expected to confirm within the next two weeks whether he will opt for the Etihad or Spain but City are ready to up their bid to keep him in the Premier League.
The player still set to be sacrificed by City to accommodate the Agger is Kolo Toure.
The Ivory Coast star has a year left on his contract and, after being frozen out by Mancini last season, has been a target for Turkish club Bursaspor and Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal -but Barcelona are also now keen on the former Arsenal man.
But City have not yet found a taker willing to pay a transfer fee on top of his £120,000-a-week wages, even though the Ivory Cost defender is willing to take a pay cut.
To complicate matters, Vincent Kompany’s injury yesterday – the Blues skipper flew home from their Malaysia tour – means the champions are now loathe to allow Toure to leave as his departure would rob them of experienced cover.
If City DO sign Agger, they then face paying Toure around £6million over the next 12 months in wages if he is not sold or included in their 25-man squad for the Premier League and the Champions League.