Deal or no deal for Neill?

LUCAS NEILL could spend a substantial period on the sidelines with his protracted talks with Atletico Madrid on the verge of collapse. The former West Ham United captain has been without a club since the summer after walking away from his �70k per week co

LUCAS NEILL could spend a substantial period on the sidelines with his protracted talks with Atletico Madrid on the verge of collapse.

The former West Ham United captain has been without a club since the summer after walking away from his �70k per week contract at Upton Park.

West Ham offered Neill a two-year extension on reduced terms, which the 31-year-old rejected out of hand.

But after struggling to find another club, the Australian had a change of heart and offered to come back to his former employers, who promptly told him that a deal could not and would not be done.


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Neill has since endured further frustration with Atletico, who could not offer the defender an acceptable package.

The defender snubbed a big move to Liverpool in favour of West Ham in 2007 because of the better weekly wage offer that the then struggling Hammers made.

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And it is believed he has now turned his back on moves to Sunderland or back to West Ham, because the new 50 per cent rate of tax for big earners is set to kick-in in England.

n West Ham's home fixtures

with Fulham on October 3 and Everton on November 7 have been moved back 24 hours due to

their opponents' Europa League matches.

Both games will kick off at 3pm, but neither will be televised.

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