Kuyt: Rodgers not an issue in move

Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt

First published in National Sport © by

Dirk Kuyt has insisted the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager had nothing to do with his decision to join Fenerbahce.

The Turkish giants announced the signing of the Holland striker on a three-year contract on Sunday, ending his six-year spell on Merseyside. The 31-year-old found first-team starts limited under Kenny Dalglish last season, and even the Scot's departure, and the arrival of Rodgers as his replacement on Friday, could not stop him leaving.

"After six years I am ready for a new challenge," Kuyt said on the website of his management, www.sport-promotion.nl. "The appointment of the new coach has nothing to do with it. But when Fenerbahce came to me and made their ambitions known, from the first moment I was sold. They give me the confidence that I lost."

Kuyt, who had a year to run on his Anfield contract, had been expected to leave Merseyside this summer after a season in which he scored just two Premier League goals. He claimed last week he had attracted interest from a host of clubs across Europe.

He was strongly linked with Hamburg and a return to former club Feyenoord, although he ruled out the latter, saying they would not be able to afford his wages. He has opted for a move to Istanbul, though, possibly attracted by the prospect of Champions League football next season.

Fener will enter the preliminary rounds of the competition after finishing runners-up to Galatasaray in the Super Lig. Kuyt is currently preparing for Euro 2012 with Holland and a delegation from the Turkish club travelled to Amsterdam to seal the deal.

The striker said on Fener's official website: "It's a very happy and proud moment. I am very happy to be part of such a big club." He revealed he was encouraged to make the move by former Feyenoord team-mate Pierre van Hooijdonk, who spent two seasons at the Istanbul club.

"Pierre said that Fenerbahce is a wonderful experience," Kuyt said.

Kuyt leaves Liverpool having won just one trophy in six seasons on Merseyside, the Carling Cup last season, when he scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff. The Dutchman scored 71 goals in 285 games for the Reds.

He was never as prolific at Anfield as he was during his time in his homeland, although he was often played out wide. Liverpool paid tribute to Kuyt's contribution, saying in a statement on their website: "Everyone at Liverpool Football Club would like to wish Dirk all the very best for the future and thank him for his contribution to the club."


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