Sevilla have revealed that their young full-back Antonio Barragan seems sets to move to Liverpool.
Sevilla’s sporting director Ramon Rodriguez said the 18-year-old had rejected professional terms with the Spanish side and he looks likely to move to Anfield. Rafael Benitez has seen enough from his performances at youth level that he’s initiated talks with the youngster: "He has been negotiating with them for the past six months. We tried to keep him but he has freely chosen another route. We have looked after him but he has decided to leave."
Barragan is a right-back and will be competing with Steven Finnan and Josemi for a place in the first team, although it’s likely that he’ll be used sparingly as the Anfield staff bring him up to speed. Rodriguez was philosophical about losing a player in this way: "The Fifa rules regarding young players who do not have professional contracts have favoured us on many occasions and this time it is Liverpool who have taken advantage of them to take the player," he said.
Meanwhile a player signed by Gerard Houllier as an unknown has made the move from Liverpool to French club Lens – without ever having played for Liverpool. Now an international for France, midfielder Alou Diarra had been signed by Houllier in 2002. He went straight out on loan to Le Havre and then Bastia. Last season he was on loan at Lens and he stated he wanted to stay there. It now seems the terms of the loan agreement gave Lens an option to sign him which they have done for just £1.98million.
At 23 years old, should Diarra progress then Lens may well find he was a bargain, certainly if he looks to move on at a future date. It was never really explained why Houllier signed the player and then let him go straight out on loan. Other Houllier signings were given chances to make an impression at Anfield, but this was never the case with Diarra. He played 34 times for Lens last season.