Reds back in for Joaquin
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liverpool have reportedly rekindled their interest in Real Betis star Joaquin.
Reports in Spain claim Liverpool have rekindled their interest in Real Betis star Joaquin.
Reds boss Rafa Benitez is desperate to bring in a right-sided midfielder and has been chasing Sevilla's Daniel Alves.
However, he appears to have been priced out of a move for the Brazilian having refused to meet the Primera outfit's asking price.
It now seems he has retrained his sights on Joaquin whom he was linked with last season.
The wide man has just returned from World Cup duty and has made it clear that he intends to depart Betis for a new challenge this summer.
Los Verdiblancos are ready to grant him his wish with new president Pepe Leon admitting he will cash in if the right offer comes along.
"Betis would be equally happy to keep Joaquin or to have their coffers full," Leon stated. "Him leaving would not ruin the dream (of taking over as president) for me.
"There have always been a lot of teams after the player, but nobody has yet decided to make the final move."
Liverpool could be about to change all that with Spanish sources suggesting they will offer é¼16 million (£10 million) plus Antonio Barragan, Jerzy Dudek and Boudewijn Zenden to land their man.
However, it now appears unlikely that Barragan will be used as a makeweight in the deal as he is close to agreeing a move to Deportivo La Coruna.
Betis were interested in the young defender, but the chance to link up with former coach Joaquin Caparros - with whom he worked at Sevilla before joining Liverpool - seems to have swayed Barragan towards Depor.
His agent has revealed a deal is close to being finalised, with Liverpool ready to sell the 19-year-old but with the insertion of a buy-back clause that would allow them to repurchase him should he impress.
"I believe the transfer could be closed in the next few hours because the differences between Liverpool and Deportivo are not too great," stated the player's agent Fermin Gutierrez.
"It will be a sale with the option for the English team to buy him back."