As Rafa Benitez continues to finalise his squad for the new season, Liverpool have been linked with two new names. Bayern Munich’s midfielder Hasan Salihamidzic an international with Bosnia-Herzegovina, says he’s heard that the Reds are interested in signing him.
Benitez has made no secret of his quest for a new right-sided midfielder, and after Luis Figo chose money over his "dream", the hunt has continued. Salihamidzic is 28 and has two years left on his Bayern contract, but according to reports Bayern are overrun with midfielders and may be prepared to listen.
Salihamidzic said: "I have heard about interest from Liverpool and it is a great honour for me, but, of course, it is not up to me. It is up to the two clubs to decide."
Liverpool’s public statements about their hunt for new players though of course leaves agents with a chance to link their players with moves – whether Liverpool are interested in the player or not remains to be seen.
The other player linked with Liverpool is Aston Villa’s Nolberto Solano. Liverpool and Villa are in negotiations over a move to Villa for Milan Baros, and the rumours say that the Reds may be prepared to compromise over the valuation if they can take Solano as part of the deal. The rumours also state that Solano has been considering his future anyway, and if Liverpool did show interest he would snatch the chance of being in Champions League action with the Reds.
As we wait for developments with Baros – which will not move on until he returns to England tomorrow – another Liverpool striker is feeling happy with his life at Anfield. Fernando Morientes now says he’s ready for the Premiership after a difficult start, and is delighted to be back in the Spanish squad for the first time in almost a year. Tonight’s friendly against Uruguay is his first call-up since September last year, and the player says his career has been in transition since then: "In the 11 months since I was last called up there have been some important changes in my career. When I was at Real Madrid I hardly played and it was difficult to play for the national team and when I arrived at Liverpool I had some initial problems with my fitness and in adapting to the training. Now everything is going as I had hoped it would."
Also in the Spanish squad for tonight’s friendly are Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia and Pepe Reina. Reina was signed this summer from Villarreal, and his former club are 2-1 up from the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Everton. Reina hasn’t failed to notice that Everton like to play football of a robust nature rather than using silky skills, but feels that his former colleagues will go through to the group stages. He said: "All the Villarreal players are of the highest level and as well as being good technically they are also able to deal with Everton’s physical strength."
Reina said prior to the first leg that he wouldn’t be offering any advice to Everton on how to overcome Villarreal, and his latest comments will endear him all the more to the Reds fans.