Belfast Telegraph

Blackpool captain Adam must wait to be a big time Charlie

Ian Holloway has told Liverpool to “put up or shut up” in their pursuit of Charlie Adam.

The Blackpool skipper requested a transfer yesterday morning after it was confirmed Liverpool had received a firm ‘no’ to their £4million offer.

Whilst Adam's demand has not been turned down, neither has it been accepted on the basis that Liverpool's offer comes nowhere close to Blackpool's valuation of a player Holloway feels could be the difference between the Seasiders confounding the odds to remain in the Premier League or dropping straight back into the Championship.

Holloway has been bombarded with questions about Adam's future over the last few days and, ahead of tonight’s eagerly-anticipated tussle with Manchester United, the only conclusion he can draw is that Liverpool do not rate him highly enough.

“If the player is good enough they should sign him. Either put up or shut up,” said Holloway.

“They are mad not to want to buy him off us. He could replace Xabi Alonso, which is something they have still not done.

“They don't have that passer. Charlie is their man and I don't want to stand in his way. But Liverpool's offer is totally unacceptable.”

There is a school of thought that Blackpool are in a tricky position because if Adam is not granted his wish to leave, he may become completely disaffected.

Adam's team-mates though are certainly not giving him the cold shoulder.

A rather amusing rendition of ‘You'll never walk alone’ serenaded him into training and unlike David Moyes, who left Steven Pienaar out of his Everton line-up once it became obvious his head was being turned by outside influences, Holloway has no intention of asking Adam to sidestep a meeting with the leaders.

“There is no chance of me leaving him out,” said Holloway.

“If I tried to stop him playing against Manchester United, he would probably kill me.

“He loves this club. Just because he has put a transfer request in, that doesn't change. And it doesn't mean he is greedy either.”

Holloway is anxious to excuse Adam from any blame over the present status.

That belongs to the Merseyside giants, who did not clarify the situation with a phone call to chairman Karl Oyston from director of football Damien Comolli on Sunday evening.

“He rang my chairman last night and said I had told him to ring, which was nonsense. The situation is exactly as it was,” said Holloway.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are ready to welcome defender Rafael back into their side tonight after serving his suspension for being sent off against Tottenham.

Sir Alex Ferguson though will need to take a fitness check on Rio Ferdinand's groin injury and the knock to an already sore ankle that Michael Carrick suffered in Saturday's five-goal hammering of Birmingham before finalising his line-up.

Ferguson has already stated Ryan Giggs will start, and then be rested for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Southampton and and he is likely to be joined by fellow veteran Paul Scholes.

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