Benitez plots Spanish raid
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Although Liverpool are well covered in the goalkeeping department with Jerzy Dudek, Chris Kirkland and Patrice Luzi, Spanish daily AS claims Benitez will look to offload one of the three to make room for Catalayud.
The 24-year-old battled with Francesc Arnau to be the number one at Malaga last term, and impressed as he made 19 starts in La Primera.
Real Madrid are also understood to be admirers of the custodian, but it is Benitez who has approached Malaga to ask about his availability.
The player shares the same agent as Benitez, Manuel Garcia Quilon, which would help facilitate a deal if The Reds do press ahead with a move.
Interestingly, Malaga are known to be lining up a swoop for Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf who has struggled to make an impact since arriving at Anfield.
It has been suggested that Catalayud could be used as part-exchange in any transfer, although AS claims Malaga president Serafin Roldan - while acknowledging contact with Liverpool - insists the talks are with a view to a deal at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, the Spanish press have claimed that the Merseysiders are very much in the race to sign wantaway Valencia striker Mista.
The hit-man, who has one year left on his deal at the Mestalla, has broken off contract talks with the club leading Valencia to suspect he has been approached by a third party.
Liverpool, along with Barcelona and Ateltico Madrid, have been mooted as his most likely suitors, but the opportunity to be reunited with Benitez - who took him to Valencia from Tenerife - could prove tempting for the 25-year-old.
Mista has confirmed he has now definitely ended talks with Valencia and will not be signing a new contract with The Che.