Friday, July 06, 2007

Bellamy Set For Hammers

West Ham have reportedly agreed a £9million deal for Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy.

Welshman 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 Premiership 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 per-week, four-year deal.

Bellamy 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 the Welsh international did not feature in Rafa Benitez's long-term plans when he was an unused substitute in the Champions League final loss to AC Milan.

Garcia Wanted First Team Football - Benitez

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez decided to let Luis Garcia join Atletico Madrid because he could not promise him a regular place in the team.

However, Benitez has nothing but praise for the way the midfielder went about his business during his three years at Anfield.

"He was happy here but Atletico is a good club for him," Benitez told the club's official website,

"It was the right time, because after three years maybe the situation was different.

"He wanted to play every game and that's not easy when we have other players coming here.

"This was a very good solution for him and also for us."

Benitez added: "I want to say 'all the best' because he was a fantastic player, a fantastic person and a fantastic professional.

"He has been a very good player for us. He has talent and the skills to change a game.

"When you are at home, the opponents play deep and there is not much space, but he can change this.

"In some games, I thought maybe if we had Luis today it would be different."

Marseille Sealed Zenden Deal

Marseille have completed the signing of midfielder Boudewijn Zenden on a free transfer, and also claim to have agreed a deal "in principle" for Djibril Cisse.

The Dutchman, released by Liverpool this summer, penned a two-year deal at the Mediterranean club after completing a medical.

A statement on OM's official website read: "Midfielder Boudewijn Zenden is a Marseille player.

"The Holland international this afternoon joined OM for two years.

"The man nicknamed 'Bolo' will wear number 10."

The 30-year-old has played for PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Liverpool in a distinguished career.

His best position is on the left wing, but he can also play in the centre of midfield.

His last competitive appearance came in the Reds' 2-1 defeat to AC Milan in the final of last season's Champions League.

He has played 54 times for Holland but not since September 2004.

And on-loan France striker Cisse looks set to stay at Marseille after the club reached "an agreement in principle" with Liverpool.

The 25-year-old hitman now looks likely to sign a four-year deal with the French club.

A statement on Marseille's website read: "As well as signing Boudewijn Zenden, Marseille have also reached an agreement in principle with Liverpool for the transfer of Djibril Cisse."

Marseille qualified for this season's Champions League after finishing second in Ligue 1 last term.