Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crouch Wanted By Sven Goran Eriksson

Sven-Goran Eriksson has added England duo Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe to the growing list of strikers he would like at Manchester City.

The Swede, who will take over at Eastlands once Thaksin Shinawatra completes his takeover, will have a £50million transfer kitty to play with and has made strike reinforcements his top priority.

Middlesbrough forward Yakubu and former City man Nicolas Anelka are already on Eriksson's reported list of targets and they have now been joined by Crouch and Defoe, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Defoe is widely expected to leave Tottenham before the start of the season, with Sunderland, Aston Villa and Portsmouth among the clubs linked with a move.

However Eriksson's involvement with the 24-year-old at international level could work in his favour if he launches a bid soon.

Meanwhile Crouch is likely to be down the pecking order at Anfield following the signing of Andriy Voronin and the imminent arrival of Fernando Torres.

It is believed Rafa Benitez would prefer to keep hold of Crouch and ship out Craig Bellamy, but the Reds would certainly consider offers for the beanpole striker.

Torres Undergoes Medical At LiverpooL

Rafael Benitez's long search for a world class striker was all but over today as Fernando Torres put the finishing touches to his record-breaking move from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool.

The highly-rated Spain forward was undergoing a medical at the club's Melwood training headquarters this afternoon and will then put pen to paper on a six-year contract worth around £90,000 a week.

Luis Garcia has moved in the opposite direction having agreed a three-year contract with the Spanish club and will be unveiled at a press conference this afternoon after completing a medical. Liverpool are thought to have paid Atletico around £20.2m although with Garcia valued at around £4 million, the total package is worth over £24 million.

The deal comfortably eclipses the previous record of £14.2 million Liverpool paid for Djibril Cisse in 2004, although Benitez will doubtless congratulate himself for driving down Atletico's £27 million asking price, as stated in Torres's contract.

Torres Cuts Short Holiday To Close Deal

Fernando Torres has cut short his summer holiday to return to Madrid where he is locked in talks to iron out the final details of his move from Atlético to Liverpool.

The Spain international striker was asked by both clubs to come back from Polynesia in order to complete the transfer after a fee was agreed as reports that he was demanding €40m over six years was dismissed.

Liverpool have refuted reports that the 23-year-old was holding out for wages of around €150,000-a-week and it is believed that a deal worth €15,000 less has been agreed.

Torres gave his verbal agreement to the move at is now set to compolete the formalities on a deal that would break both clubs' record transfers with €32m changing hands.

The Reds' have proven that they are willing to spend big in order to close the gap with Manchester United and Chelsea and the Torres' transfer dwarfs their previous highest fee paid for Djibril Cisse at €19m in 2004.

Liverpool's chief executive, Rick Parry, was given the task of realising the move for Torres and he is now only hours away from being able to announce that it is official.

The reaction of the Atlético de Madrid supporters who held a protest in the Spanish capital last week should be softened after los Colchoneros brought in Diego Forlán and Juan Román Riquelme.

Ricardo Quaresma is also said to be close to agreeing a switch to Vicente Calderón, meaning that the club could have a stronger squad that last term even without Torres.

While the Liverpool front line is being strengthened, the Reds are close to snapping up Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United.