So much for Liverpool's American owners, George Gillett and Tim Hicks, being stingy with their money. They are about to give Manager Rafa Benitez what he wants: the money to buy striker Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid.
A $54 million transfer deal -- $40 million plus Luis Garcia -- has been accepted in principle by Atletico and is now dependent on Torres declaring an
intent to leave his boyhood club when he returns from vacation on July 10. Liverpool had hoped to ship Djibril Cisse to Atletico, but the Frenchman nixed that deal and Luis Garcia was offered
instead as partial payment. To cover the tab for buying Torres, the Reds could sell Cisse (on loan last season to Marseille) elsewhere or deal Welshman Craig Bellamy.
In the meantime,
Liverpool is stocking up on young players. Among those set to arrive at Anfield are Brazilian playmaker Lucas from Internacional, 18-year-old Spanish defender Mikel San Jose from Athletic Bilbao,
19-year-old Bulgarian goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov from Levski Sofia and Argentine winger Sebastian Leto from Lanus.