Wednesday, May 30, 2007

LiverpooL Going After Long-Time Target

Liverpool have confirmed their interest in Portugal international Simao Sabrosa as Rafael Benitez prepares to launch his summer spending spree.

The Benfica forward has long been a target of the Anfield manager and Reds chief executive Rick Parry indicated the Champions League finalists are likely to bid for the 27-year-old this summer.

And Parry admitted a swap deal involving Djibril Cisse, who spent last season on loan at Marseille, is one option which is being considered.

'There are players we are interested in and Simao is one,' Parry revealed.

'But we have made no contact with Benfica. A swap deal with Cisse could be one possibility.'

Cisse's agent Ranko Stojic did not rule out Benfica, but said his client would favor a return to England.

Anything is possible but Djibril's priority is to move to a club in either England or Spain who are in the Champions League,' he told the Portuguese press.

'Liverpool won't be able to decide Cisse's future without the authorization of the player.'

LiverpooL Bidding For French Player Of The Year

Liverpool will reportedly make a £10 million bid for Lyon's French international Florent Malouda this week.

Manager Rafael Benitez held talks with owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett last week, and was reassured that he would be given the money to pursue his summer transfer targets.

And the Daily Mirror understands Malouda is near the top of his wish-list, which also includes Sevilla's Daniel Alves, Gabriel Milito of Real Zaragoza and Barcelona's star striker Samuel Eto'o.

French footballer of the year Malouda has indicated he wants his future sorted quickly while Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas insists a deal, which would cost around £10-15 million, must be done by the end of June.

Malouda said: "If nothing happens from now that means the clubs who have approached me are not convinced.

"If that's the case, there is no point in leaving - I don't want to go wherever.

"If I leave it will be under the best circumstances for me and for Lyon."

One of Benitez's main complaints is the club do not move quickly enough in the transfer market, and this opportunity to swoop for Malouda will be a key indication of the American owners' willingness to live up to their word.

Benitez has said: "It is always talk, talk, talk. Nothing happens.

"There are top-class players we can sign now for a reasonable fee but we have to move quickly."

Malouda has been an integral member of the Lyon side that has won six successive Ligue 1 titles and he's also established himself in the national team.

Benitez is planning a significant overhaul of the club, which suffered defeat in the Champions League final last week, and the likes of Craig Bellamy, Sami Hyypia, Harry Kewell and John Arne Riise could join Robbie Fowler, Mark Gonzalez, Bolo Zenden, Jerzy Dudek and Scott Carson as surplus to requirements.

This clear-out would free up extra funds for six or seven new players of which Malouda is expected to be one.

However the Reds will face competition from Europe's biggest clubs with the 26-year-old winger linked with Juventus, Chelsea and Manchester United in the past.