Fenerbahce sign Kuyt
Fenerbahce have announced the signing of Dirk Kuyt from Liverpool. The Netherlands forward has signed a three-year contract with the Turkish giants, the club confirmed on their official Twitter account.
The 31-year-old, who moved to Anfield from Feyenoord in 2004, found first-team starts hard to come by under Kenny Dalglish last season.
Kuyt has insisted the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager had nothing to do with his decision to join Fenerbahce. "After six years I am ready for a new challenge," Kuyt said on the website of his management, www.sport-promotion.nl. "(The club and supporters) I will always carry in my heart.
"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."
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, who had a year to run on his Anfield contract, had been expected to leave Merseyside this summer, despite the departure of Dalglish, 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 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 UEFA 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 leaves Liverpool having won just one trophy in six seasons on Merseyside, the League Cup last season, when he scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff.
Liverpool confirmed on their official website that Kuyt had told them he had agreed a move to Fener and the transfer would be complete in "the next few days". A club statement said: "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."
The Dutchman, who is currently preparing for UEFA EURO 2012 with the Netherlands, 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.