LIVERPOOL: Australian international Harry Kewell was unveiled as a Liverpool player on Thursday and delivered a parting shot to former club Leeds as the summers most acrimonious transfer saga came to an end.
The 24-year-old moved to Anfield in a £5mil deal just a day after Leeds chairman John McKenzie accused him of stabbing Leeds fans in the back when he admitted to having started talks with the Merseysiders six months ago.
It was also revealed that the player and his advisers received a £2mil loyalty payment from the cash-strapped Elland Road outfit.
However, Kewell was unrepentant over the affair.
Im sorry to say that Leeds never offered me a new contract and never put actually figures and numbers in front of me for me to sit down and discuss, said Kewell.
Its very disappointing, I was there nine years and you expect a friendship with the club. They didnt want to offer me a contract.
What has been said has taken the gloss off an exciting day for me.
You dont move too often in your career and I just wanted everything to go smoothly.
I want to feel happy but all the things that have been said in the papers have made me out to look like a bad person.
Kewell, who has signed a five-year deal, said that the thought of working with Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was a big attraction in his transfer to the club where he will link up with other fellow new signings Steve Finnan, who has joined from Fulham, as well as French teenagers Florent Sinama Pongolle and Anthony le Tallec.
I was very impressed by the manager. He really knows his football, Kewell told the Liverpool Echo.
I have worked under some great managers during my time in the game. But I am really looking forward to working with him because he really knows his stuff.
Some great teams came in for me but the main factor in my decision was the manager.
I have never won anything in my career yet and my main aim is to win things here.
Houllier said he hoped Kewell, who will don the number seven shirt made famous by Kevin Keegan and Kenny Dalglish, would be the key to taking Liverpool into the Champions League next season.
This is a fantastic signing for the club and its fans. After the intense media interest in the player I am delighted we have finally completed a deal which can only excite our supporters all over the world, said the Frenchman.
We had spoken about bringing in players who would have the fans on the edge of their seats and I cant think of a better description for the qualities that Harry will bring to Anfield.
Its a huge boost for us ahead of the new campaign and an indication of Harrys belief in what we want to achieve here. AFP