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Liverpool Agree on Torres

Liverpool on verge of £27m deal for Torres

By Tim Rich
Last Updated: 1:50am BST 29/06/2007

Liverpool were last night close to agreeing a fee for striker Fernando Torres that would smash the club's transfer record and bring one of the most exciting prospects in European football to Anfield.

Atletico Madrid appear to have accepted in principle Liverpool's offer of £20 million plus Luis Garcia, who is apparently happy to return to the Vincente Calderon Stadium where he spent a season before his transfer to Barcelona four years ago. The cash-plus-player deal would satisfy the £27 million release clause in Torres' contract.

The Torres deal would dwarf the club's previous record transfer - the £14 million Gerard Houllier paid to Auxerre for Djibril Cisse in 2004 - and would go a long way to providing proof that Liverpool's new owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, back manager Rafael Benitez's demands for high-quality signings.

Torres, who has the final decision on the transfer, will face fierce local pressure from fans to resist the move.

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce fears he may suffer a "massive blow" this summer if strikers Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins invoke get-out clauses in their contracts. Arsenal are said to be interested in the pair.


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