Benitez targets Baines
Liverpool are being linked with a move for Leighton Baines
if they fail to land Gabriel Heinze.
The Wigan left-back is their back-up option, according to the Daily Mirror,
who also claim that the Reds have finally worked out that they need cover
for Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger at centre-half.
Baines has already turned down a move to Sunderland, while Everton have had
a bid of £4m plus a player turned down.
The Mirror also claims that Benitez is still looking for a wide player and
although he would 'love' to sign Arjen Robben, he looks set to join Real
Reds in hunt for
By Mark Kendall - Sky Sports
Reports in Spain suggest Liverpool are pushing hard to
secure the services of another Spanish youngster,
Real Madrid's Javi Garcia.
The 20-year-old defensive midfielder, part of the Spain side that won the
Under 19 European Championship in 2006, has spent the last five seasons at
Real having joined from a regional side in his hometown of Murcia.
Highly rated within the corridors of the Santiago Bernabeu, he was expected
to graduate to Real's first team last season, but found his progress blocked
by the summer signings of Emerson and Mahamadou Diarra.
As a result he spent the campaign with Real's B side, Castilla, and is now
reported to be anxious for a chance to prove himself at first-team level.
With another change in management at the Bernabeu this summer that is far
from guaranteed and he is now mulling over a number of offers to move on.
Real are keen to extend his contract which expires next summer, but
Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are understood to be leading the chase for his
signature, with both ready to part with €3million (£2million) to land the
Mallorca, Getafe and Deportivo are also keen on Garcia but Liverpool and
Atletico appear in the driving seat should the player choose to end his stay
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez does have the advantage of sharing the same
agent as Garcia, Manuel Garcia Quilon, although Atletico may feel they have
a trump card of their own as Garcia's cousin, and former Liverpool player,
Luis Garcia, now plies his trade at the Vicente Calderon.
transfer warning over Crouch
Liverpool have slapped a £20million price tag on the head
of striker Peter Crouch to ward off interest from several Premiership clubs.
Manchester City, Newcastle and Aston Villa are just a few of the clubs
reportedly interested in signing the lanky England international hitman this
However, despite the arrival of strike trio Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and
Andriy Voronin, Reds boss Rafa Benitez is keen to keep Crouch as part of his
attacking options, especially as Craig Bellamy has quit to join West Ham for
£7.5million and Robbie Fowler departed at the end of his contract.
The 26-year-old former Portsmouth, QPR, Villa and Southampton forward still
has two years left on his current Liverpool deal and Benitez feels he is
worth more than Darren Bent, who recently joined Tottenham from Charlton for
Benitez recently said: "The only thing I can say is that Peter Crouch will
be staying with us. I have said to Crouch that he must fight for his
position and he will stay with us."
Heinze set to buy-out United
contract to clinch Liverpool move
Gabriel Heinze is locked in a £6.8 million tug-of-war with
Manchester United because they refuse to sell him to their bitter rivals
Anfield boss Rafa Benitez has been given the green light by the club's
American owners to swoop for the Argentina defender.
But despite giving Heinze the all-clear to find a new club after losing his
first-team spot to Patrice Evra last season, United have made it clear they
have no intention of allowing him to move to Anfield.
Heinze is now weighing up whether to buy out the remaining two years of his
Old Trafford contract in order to seal a dramatic switch down the M62 after
admitting his desire to move to Liverpool.
New FIFA rules allow players to pay off the final two years of contracts and
£65,000-a-week man Heinze knows it will cost him a whopping £6.8m to trigger
his exit from United.
No player has moved between the clubs since the unheralded Phil Chisnall
left Old Trafford for Anfield in 1964.
If the 29-year-old does buy out his contract, the Champions League finalists
would then get Heinze on a free transfer, handing the player a hefty
signing-on fee and salary package to compensate him for his United buy-out.
Fowler in talks
over Sydney move
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has reopened talks
over a move to A-League side Sydney FC, according to reports in Australia.
The former England forward is a free agent after his release by Liverpool at
the end of last season, and sources close to the A-League club are reported
to be happy at the way discussions have progressed.
Sydney are still likely to face competition from several Championship clubs,
however, with Leicester and Cardiff known to be keen to clinch his
A move for Fowler was made more likely after former Coventry striker John
Aloisi turned down a move back to his homeland.
close to Benayoun deal
BBC Sport Online
Midfielder Yossi Benayoun is set to seal a summer switch
to Liverpool, BBC Sport understands.
The West Ham playmaker and Israel international has long been linked with a
move to Anfield and a £4m transfer will be finalised on Wednesday.
Reds manager Rafael Benitez has made no secret of his admiration for the
25-year-old who he has been tracking since the end of the season.
"It's clear he'd like to come and he's a player I like," said the Spaniard.
Benayoun, Israel's national captain, moved to Upton Park from Racing
Santander in a £2.5m deal in 2005.
He has played 72 games for the Hammers and scored eight goals.
The clubs have already done business this summer with striker Craig Bellamy
moving to the capital from Merseyside in a £7.5m deal.
Liverpool close in on Babel and Benayoun
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool hope to tie up their double swoop for Ryan Babel
and Yossi Benayoun within the next 24 hours.
Negotiations for the pair have entered a key stage, with the
Reds increasingly confident of reaching agreement with Ajax
and West Ham.
The arrival of 20-year-old attacker Babel appears more of a formality, with
the player determined to complete the switch to Anfield for a fee likely to
be around £10m.
Benayoun has also informed his club he’s made up his mind to join the Reds,
but talks with West Ham have proceeded delicately from the outset with the
valuation of the player a sticking piont.
Progress was made during another day of tough negotiations yesterday, and
it’s hoped the deadlock will be broken today.
West Ham want £6m for the Israeli international.
Rafa remains on
trail of Simao
Benfica's Simao Sabrosa remains Rafael Benitez's first
choice despite rumoured interest in £14million-rated Porto ace Ricardo
The Anfield boss is believed to prefer Simao over his international
colleague Quaresma, but has been forced to play a waiting game by the
player's Lisbon club.
Benitez is desperate to add a top class wide man to his squad but has grown
so frustrated with Benfica's stance that he has made it known to them he is
actively persuing the Porto man.
This could spark the serious negotiations over 27-year-old Simao that
Liverpool want, although the situation has also been complicated by
continued interest from Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish club, flushed with over £20million in cash from the sale of
Fernando Torres are emerging as serious candidates for Simao - having
previously courted Quaresma.
Levante look to
By Francisco Acedo - Sky Sports
Liverpool defender Gabriel Paletta could be set for a loan
move to Spain with Levante.
Reports emanating from Spain suggest Levante have expressed an interest in
taking the Argentine ace on loan for the whole of next season.
The 21-year-old joined Liverpool from Banfield last summer, but he struggled
to establish himself in Rafa Benitez's first-team plans.
Paletta made only eight appearances for the Reds last term and he is well
down the pecking order of defenders at Anfield.
Benitez is believed to have given the loan move to Levante the green light
as he is keen for the South American to gain some valuable first-team
The deal does not include any option for Levante to make the move permanent
as Paletta is tipped for a big future at Liverpool.
Rafa hopes to
pick up a hot Babel
Liverpool hope to beat Arsenal and Newcastle to the
signature of Ryan Babel after reportedly making a £6.75million bid for the
Rafael Benitez secured his first major signing of the summer with the
£26.5million capture of Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid last week and
has now turned his attention to landing a new winger.
And according to The Independent, Benitez made an offer of around 10million
euros for Babel on Sunday after the Dutchman impressed at the European
Under-21 Championship last month.
The 20-year-old had previously said he wanted to join Arsenal after spending
another season at Ajax, but Liverpool are poised to swoop after missing out
on Florent Malouda to Chelsea.
Newcastle are also thought to be interested in Babel, who can operate as a
striker as well as on the wings, but Sam Allardyce's side are unlikely to be
able to match the spending power of the Champions League finalists.
Babel has been tipped by Holland manager Marco van Basten as one of the
country's brightest young talents and he has already represented the senior
Holland team, scoring on his debut against Romania in March 2005.
Carragher to quit England
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher could be set to
announce his international retirement, according to
the Mail on Sunday.
The 29-year-old has started just three times since Steve McClaren took
charge of the England team, and his absence from the Euro 2008 qualifier
against Estonia last month is reported to have brought things to a head.
With Rio Ferdinand and Jonathan Woodgate sidelined, Carragher was expected
to feature alongside John Terry, particularly having helped Liverpool reach
the Champions League final with a string of wholehearted displays.
But McClaren opted for Tottenham's Ledley King in central defence and named
Carragher among his substitutes.
A 'source close to Carragher' is quoted as saying: "Jamie does not want to
sound like a big-time Charlie.
"He just feels that at this stage in his career it would be better if he
concentrated his efforts on helping Liverpool become the No 1 team in
"He has always regarded it as a tremendous honour to represent his
country...but things have to end some time and he thinks this might be a
good time to bow out."
Irons set to
seal £9m Bellamy deal
West Ham have reportedly agreed a £9million deal for Liverpool striker
Craig Bellamy, who is set to sign a four-year contract at Upton Park.
Bellamy has slipped down the Anfield pecking order following the arrival of
Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid and has been linked with a host of
Premier League clubs, as well as Italian sides Juventus and Roma.
However, the Daily Mirror claims Bellamy has agreed to join the Hammers
after being offered a £70,000-a-week, four-year deal.
The Wales hitman moved to Liverpool from Blackburn in a £6.5million deal
last summer and scored seven goals, the last of which came against Barcelona
in the Nou Camp.
However, it became clear Bellamy did not feature in Rafael Benitez's
long-term plans when he was an unused substitute in the Champions League
final loss to AC Milan.
linked to Bellamy swoop
BBC Sport Online
West Ham are the favourites to sign Liverpool's Welsh international
striker Craig Bellamy, BBC Sport understands.
The 27-year-old had fallen down the pecking order at Anfield following boss
Rafael Benitez's summer signings of Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin.
Bellamy would help to plug any gap at Upton Park left by the possible
departure of Argentine international Carlos Tevez to Manchester United.
The Wales captain joined Liverpool from Blackburn for £6m
in June 2006.
After starting his career with Norwich City, he has also had stints with
Coventry City, Newcastle United, plus a loan spell at Celtic.
Bellamy scored nine goals in 42 appearances for the Reds.
to step up Heinze bid
Liverpool will reportedly continue their pursuit of Manchester United
full-back Gabriel Heinze despite his claims of interest from Real Madrid and
The Liverpool Echo claims Anfield boss Rafa Benitez is hoping to bring in
the Argentine left-back for £4m to end 43 years of no direct transfers
between the two clubs.
But Heinze seems to have made it clear that he will only leave United for a
"super club" as he is settled at Old Trafford despite losing his first-team
place to Patrice Evra.
"I already play for one super club and other ones such as Real Madrid,
Barcelona and Juventus have been mentioned," Heinze is quoted as saying in
the Manchester Evening News.
"For me to go the offer has to be good for everyone. I'm very comfortable in
Manchester. I've been a champion, captain and the fans love me. Everything
Meanwhile; the Echo has rejected reports that Torres is stalling over the
terms offered by Liverpool, saying the Spaniard has 'verbally agreed' a
£90,000-a-week contract that gives him parity with Jamie Carragher and Xabi