Reds want Croatian Becks
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liverpool's interest in Croatian star Dario Srna has been confirmed.Liverpool's interest in Croatian star Dario Srna, likened to David Beckham, has been confirmed.
The 23-year-old is widely considered one of the best young right midfielders in Europe
A host of clubs are tracking him including German champions Bayern Munich - although Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is known to have been a keen admirer for sometime.
Benitez's interest even went as far as him making a bid for Srna in August before the transfer deadline - but the player's club Shakhtar Donetsk rebuffed the bid.
Srna is managed by former Derby and West Ham star Igor Stimac - who has looked after him since he was 15.
"We come from the same small town Metkovic near Split and I used to play with his father, and since an early age his family asked me to look after him," Stimac told skysports.com.
"I really think he is one of the best young midfielders anywhere in Europe and that looks to be the case judging by how many clubs are looking and asking about him."
Stimac confirmed Liverpool were very much keen on Srna.
"Liverpool came in for him in August, but Shakhtar president Rinat Akhmetov decided against it. He is a very rich man and obviously does not need the money, so we will have to see.
"There is interest from all over Europe, from Italy, Spain, Germany and England and I think he should be going to one of the top ten teams in Europe.
"We think he would be very good for Liverpool. He plays down the right and enjoys breaking down the right - something which he cannot do for Shakhtar at the moment as they are playing him in defence.
"He is very similar to David Beckham, he likes to attack down that side and put lots of crosses into the box."
Stimac admitted Srna could very well depart in January, but again his Ukrainian employers would have the final say.
"Who knows what might happen, we will have to see but as we said it will depend on what Mr Akhmetov says.
"There are many talks about many things yet to happen so we shall see.
"He has also been offered a new contract, so again that is something else we must discuss.
"Dario himself is thankfully not being bothered by any of this and is just concentrating on his football."
Srna began his career with his hometown club Hajduk Split and made his debut as a 16-year-old.
He spent three seasons at Hajduk and won his first Croatian cap in 2002, before Shakhtar snapped him up in 2003.