Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reds close in on Babel and Benayoun

Liverpool are closing in on Yossi Benayoun after agreeing a fee with West Ham for the Israel midfielder.
The Anfield club have also been given permission to talk to Ajax winger Ryan Babel.
Benayoun rejected a new contract at Upton Park while Dutchman Babel was one of the stars of the recent European Under-21 Championship.
Liverpool have already stated their ambition this summer by signing strikers Fernando Torres and Andriy Voronin.
Benayoun and Babel will increase manager Rafael Benitez's creative options in midfield.
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said: 'We've agreed the fee with West Ham for Yossi Benayoun.
'We're not quite there with Ryan Babel yet but we've now been given permission by Ajax to talk to the player.
'We hope to reach an agreement with Ajax very shortly.'
Benayoun is rated at £5million and about to bring the curtain down on a two-year spell at the Hammers.
He moved to England from Spanish side Racing Santander for £2.5million and scored eight goals in 72 games for the club.
Benayoun is seen as an ideal replacement for Luis Garcia, who recently moved to Atletico Madrid.
Babel could cost Liverpool as much as £10million. He is reportedly heading to Merseyside for a medical.

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