Liverpool’s interest in signing Peter Crouch was confirmed by Southampton boss Harry Redknapp yesterday. Crouch, 24, is considered a key player by Harry Redknapp and according to BBC Sport two bids have been turned down for Crouch – including one for Liverpool.
As well as a £5million bid from Liverpool, another bid, from West Ham for £6million was also rejected. Redknap said: "West Ham did make a cash bid but we turned it down. But let’s not kid ourselves, Peter wants to go and play for Liverpool where he can play in the Champions League and get eight times the pay."
Redknapp is resigned to losing the player, but Chairman Rupert Lowe won’t sell him for less than he feels he is worth. Redknapp said: "We’ve rejected the bids so far, but I don’t know the point it would reach where he would go. I haven’t seen Crystal Palace sell Andy johnson or Norwich sell Dean Ashton."
Redknapp will be bitterly disappointed to lose crouch, and feels that he’s the one player that could get them promoted again: "If we do sell Crouch, I don’t know where we go. Are you then just saying ‘let’s sell a few shirts and that’s the end of us?’ To get into the promotion picture you need to score 70 goals. I would have fancied Phillips for 20 goals in the Championship and Peter 20 – 25. But if we lose both of them, that’s 40-45 goals we have to find immediately."
Redknapp’s plans hinge on keeping Crouch, as he said: "I’ve got strikers who can play alongside Crouch. Marian Pahars should be fit, and then there’s Brett Ormerod and Dexter Blackstock. But it all hinges on Crouch staying."
Redknapp has been working on trying to persuade Crouch that he’s better off at St Mary’s, and although it’s a difficult battle he’ll keep trying, including persuading Crouch not to worry about his England career: "I told Peter that Sven knows that he is a one-off, there’s nobody else in the country like him and Sven knows what he can do. As long as Peter’s playing well, Sven knows what he is going to get from him."
Rafael Benitez revealed yesterday that Liverpool were about to sign two or three more players. Crouch is believed to be one of those, which suggests that a deal with Southampton could be close. The other two players are rumoured to be Real Zaragoza defender Gabriel Milito and Luis Figo of Real Madrid.