February - 2006

1702: Inter seek to tempt Rafa
1302: Reds eye Valencia ace
1202: German giants planning Anfield raid
0702: Duo tipped for Liverpool exit
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Inter seek to tempt Rafa

Sporting Life

Inter Milan are ready to lure Rafa Benitez away from Liverpool with a 50 million transfer budget.

The Nerazzurri are currently second in Serie A but trail leaders Juventus by 12 points following last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Fabio Capello's men.

And this is not good enough for Inter patron Massimo Moratti who is now ready to show coach Roberto Mancini the door unless he can win the Champions League.

They face Ajax next week in the first knockout stages and defeat would signal the end of his two-year reign at the San Siro.

The Corriere dello Sport reported that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is highly regarded in Italy and is one of the front runners for the post along with PSV Eindhoven coach Guus Hiddink and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

And an Inter source told the Daily Mirror: "Benitez has already proved he is a top manager in Spain and England and Inter believe he can now do the same in Italy.

"Winning the European Cup against Milan will make him immediately popular with Inter fans. And his achievements with Valencia, where he twice won the title over Real Madrid and Barcelona, proves he has real pedigree."

Reds eye Valencia ace

By Peter ORourke - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is reported to be ready to raid his old club Valencia for Yago Fernandez.

Reports in Portugal claim Liverpool have expressed an interest in the 18-year-old.

Fernandez is highly regarded within the corridors of La Mestalla and is tied down until 2011.

Liverpool are believed to have watched Fernandez in action and are thought to be weighing up an offer for the youngster.

The player's father Carlos Fernandez claims that Fernandez is not happy with Valencia and that he would be interested in a move to Liverpool.

"We are going to see what Liverpool can offer in sporting terms," said Carlos Fernandez.

"If it is good for him then maybe a transfer can happen because Valencia promised him things that have not happened. They will have to speak to Valencia first."

German giants planning Anfield raid

Kop Talk

Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is reportedly attracting interest from German side Bayern Munich.

Reports claim that the Bundesliga outfit have offered the Frenchman a way out of Anfield although there are no quotes as yet from Bayern officials to substantiate the rumours.

Cisse has endured a miserable spell at Anfield since moving from Auxerre but he insists he doesn't want to leave the club after settling down with a local girl.

Rafa offered Spurs Cisse for Jermaine Defoe (straight swap) during the January transfer window but that proposal was rejected.

Duo tipped for Liverpool exit


Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is reportedly set to offload misfiring strike duo Djibril Cisse and Fernando Morientes at the end of the season.

The Reds have scored just 30 goals in 23 league games this term, a statistic which has hindered their hopes of keeping pace with Chelsea at the top of the Premiership.

And Benitez knows he needs more from his frontmen if he is to mount a serious title challenge next season.

"It is true we need to score more goals," he said.

"Our statistics in terms of creating chances and shots are good, but it is clear we need to take more of them.

"I have told the players this is a long race and we cannot dwell too long on all the things we have done badly."

If the pair were to leave Anfield, Benitez may look to bring Newcastle's Michael Owen back to the club, potentially re-uniting him with Kop legend Robbie Fowler.

He is also said to be a fan of Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt, as well as Tottenham's Jermain Defoe and Andrew Johnson of Crystal Palace.

Cisse has long been linked with a return to France, while there are no shortage of clubs in Spain that would be interested in bringing Morientes back to La Liga if the Reds made him available.

Thor Zakariassen