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Gabriel Heinze flattered by Liverpool’s interest

Gabriel Heinze flattered by Liverpool’s interest

Jul 12 2007

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

Gabriel Heinze in action for Argentina

GABRIEL HEINZE has revealed his pride at being linked with a move to Anfield as Tom Hicks hinted Liverpool’s summer spending spree will continue.

It emerged last week that Rafael Benitez is targeting the Manchester United left-back as part of his multi-million squad overhaul.

Liverpool face a massive task in taking Heinze from Old Trafford, with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson loath to sell the player to his team’s greatest rivals.

The Argentine, who could be available for around £6million, is also being courted by Juventus, Real Madrid and Premier League rivals Newcastle United.

Heinze’s future won’t be decided until after the Copa America concludes at the weekend, but is flattered by Liverpool’s interest.

“I still don’t know what I am going to do in the future, and I’m going to start thinking about that after the Copa America,” he said. “The interest in me from important teams such us Liverpool, Juventus and Real Madrid makes me feel proud.

“But I feel very comfortable in Manchester, and I’m very grateful for everything I’ve experienced there.”

Liverpool co-chairman Hicks yesterday suggested the Anfield arrivals won’t stop at the imminent £17m double swoop for Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun as he also rubbished rumours of tension between the Spaniard and the club’s American owners.

Hicks and George Gillett have provided Benitez with significant backing during the transfer window, the centrepiece of which has been the club record signing of striker Fernando Torres.

Liverpool have also sought to tie up a number of key squad members, such as Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, on long-term contracts.

And a delighted Hicks said: “Our plans – well they’re Rafa’s really – have worked pretty much as we hoped. There was a lot of speculation he was unhappy, but that was never the case, and we had an agreement over how to proceed. The first thing was getting the existing core of players signed on extensions, which we did with Pepe, Stevie, Carra and several others. It was critical to get those locked up.

“Then we wanted to proceed with the new ones. We started with Lucas, then Torres and hopefully a couple more as well, which should go through very soon. I wouldn’t rule out one more, either.”

Hicks added: “The team’s going to be a far better one this year, which is important. Part of the plan that Rafa told me and George was we needed more depth. It’s a long season, especially in the Premiership, and that depth is important over 38 games.

“We have that now, particularly up front, and I am very excited. I’m coming over for the Chelsea game in mid-August and really looking forward to it.

“Rafa explained to George and me that we could compete in the Champions League, because of the format, better than over the gruelling 10 months of the Premiership. He said we needed more players to add depth, because it’s what Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United had, but we didn’t.”

Hicks. who also confirmed that Liverpool will submit the plans for their new stadium to the council on July 25, said: “It’s been a busy summer because we have finalise our plans for the new stadium as well.

“I am new at this, but the transfer system here is different to anything we have in baseball or hockey. I don’t see how the fees could get any higher.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool have confirmed they have signed a three-year deal with Setanta Sports for the launch of the club’s own dedicated TV channel, which will be available at no extra cost to subscribers of the Setanta Sports pack.


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