Football - Liverpool FC: LIVERPOOL are running the rule over highly-rated Brazilian forward Diego Tardelli.
Anfield scouts have watched the 25-year-old striker, who plays in his homeland league for Atletico Miniero and would be available for around £6million.
Tardelli played three times for Brazil in their World Cup qualifiers and was named in their preliminary 30-man squad for the forthcoming finals in South Africa, but failed to make coach Dunga’s final cut. The striker was a product of Sao Paulo’s youth system and had spells on loan in Europe with Real Betis and PSV Eindhoven before spending a season at Flamengo.
Turkish side Fenerbahce and Saint-Etienne of France are among a clutch of clubs to have been linked in recent years for Tardelli.
West Ham United have also been tracking the forward, who has scored 42 goals in 58 games and was rated among Brazil’s brightest young talents when he burst on to the scene as a teenager.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has rubbished reports claiming he has been offered a lucrative package to quit Anfield and become coach of the United Arab Emirates.
Benitez has four years remaining on a deal signed last season and has repeatedly expressed his desire to stay at Liverpool provided he receives the necessary assurances from chairman Martin Broughton over the direction of the club.
And of reports concerning the UAE coaching job, Benitez said: “I was very surprised to read about this story but it seems more and more as if they keep happening from somewhere. I am very happy here in Liverpool. I have always been happy and I want to stay here for a long time – if it is possible.”
The uncertainty that continues to surround Benitez has left a number of Liverpool players questioning their futures and provided encouragement for potential suitors.
Javier Mascherano, a long-time target of Barcelona, is now attracting interest from European champions Inter Milan, while Chelsea are reportedly keen on Yossi Benayoun, although it would take a bid of at least £7million to persuade Liverpool to consider parting with the Israeli.