Le Tallec loan could make room for Owen

Liverpool striker Anthony Le Tallec is reported to be about to join Sunderland on a season-long loan. This news comes after Red’s boss Rafael Benitez insisted he wasn’t thinking about a move for former Reds hero Michael Owen.

Rafa’s been busy this summer, but has still not managed to bolster his defence, which he says is now his priority: “I am only thinking about my strikers and not about the ideas of Real Madrid and Michael Owen,” he said. “Everybody knows my squad and that I have a clear idea of what the future holds. We have a lot of strikers now and I am not thinking about another centre forward now, only trying to find a new central defender. The most important thing is for me to protect Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher because they cannot be expected to play 60 games each season. We need a centre half. I need a defender and a right winger. We have some ideas and we are making progress.”

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed he isn’t planning to make a move for Owen, Chelsea have shown no interest, and Manchester United aren’t actually in a position to bid for the player if reports are to be believed. The only club that does seem to be willing is Newcastle United – but a fourteenth placed team is not really what Owen has in mind if he’s to return to the Premiership.

With Benitez claiming that Liverpool have a lot of strikers, it certainly does look at first like he’s no room for Michael Owen in his plans. The two striking heroes of Liverpool’s Champions League comeback against Olympiakos will be available for selection again soon – Florent Sinama-Pongolle is back training again now after his injury, and Neil Mellor is close to a return too. New signing Peter Crouch, French international Djibril Cisse and Spanish star Fernando Morientes are the main three strikers at Rafa’s disposal.

Milan Baros is almost certain to leave soon – Schalke were soon put straight about Liverpool’s lack of interest in sending the Czech international out on loan, but another club is reportedly in advanced talks with Liverpool about the player. With Le Tallec possibly heading to the North East, subject to a medical, maybe Benitez will have room for Owen after all.

Owen will return to pre-season training with Real tomorrow after his club’s friendly tour of the USA and the Far East.