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Liverpool-Torres Deal Comes into Focus
Times Online, June 28th, 2007 3:45PM

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A Liverpool-Fernando Torres deal may be closer than you think: The Times reports that Coach Rafael Benitez has stepped up his pursuit of the Atletico Madrid striker and is considering throwing Luis Garcia in as a makeweight to patch up the difference between the clubs' valuation. No official bid has been lodged, but one is said to be forthcoming after a series of proposals have been made through intermediaries. Torres, 23, is one of the world's most sought-after strikers, although a poor season for Atletico is believed to have lowered his price tag. Liverpool is expected to offer $50 million plus Luis Garcia.

The departure of Torres could insight a real revolt amongst Atletico's fans, who have shown through public demonstrations that the mere suggestion is not welcome. About 200 fans gathered in Madrid for an organized demonstration on Tuesday evening, chanting Torres' name and criticizing the club's management, the Times reports. The club's management, meanwhile, fanned the fire when Miguel Angel Gil Marin declared: "No player is essential," urging fans to consider the financial benefits of selling Torres. "We are trying to build a team to compete and it is not about any one player."

Over at Liverpool, Benitez has been frustrated by a lack of movement on the transfer market as the club's new American owners balk at the high prices being demanded for the world's best players. Liverpool has also been frustrated by the difficulty of unloading players like Djibril Cisse and Craig Bellamy, who carry $16 and $24 million transfer prices, respectively.

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