Report: Malouda set to sign for Reds

Reports this morning claim that French winger Florent Malouda is to arrive on Merseyside later today to discuss a move the European Cup finalists from Lyon.

Malouda, who will be 27 next month, has 28 caps for France, scoring three goals on the way. He was started all but the first game of the 2006 World Cup for his country, including the final, where he won a penalty. The figure quoted for his transfer fee varies but is believed to be somewhere above £8m.

He has picked up four winners' medals in a row in the French league, where Lyon have just won their sixth title in a row.

If the reports – on Sky Sports News – does turn out to be true, and the player is here to talk about a deal, it will show that Rafa's outburst last week about the lethargy around going getting his signings has worked to a certain extent. However, Rafa still wants the contracts of existing players sorted out, and still has other targets in mind.

One of those is another winger, Simao Sabrosa from Benfica, who was confirmed as a target by Chief Executive Rick Parry at the weekend.

With two wingers coming in Harry Kewell is left wondering where his future lies. Rafa Benitez has spoken to most of his squad about where he sees their futures, and those who had contracts expiring this summer have been told they are leaving. Former captain Sami Hyypia, like Kewell, has a year left on his deal and was given a choice by Rafa that he could either leave or stay – but on the understanding that he will be no more than a squad player. Kewell is one of the highest earners at Anfield and it seems has yet to be told whether Rafa sees him as an important member of the squad nxt season.

One of Kewell's friends has spoken to the press about how the player feels: "Anfield is the only place Harry wants to be," said the unnamed pal (or agent or relative), "He takes the view that there aren't many players who can say they are good enough to pull on a Liverpool shirt. He believes he is, and he wants to prove it to the fans and manager. He is not one to shy away from a challenge."

Rafa is an admirer of Kewell, but has rarely been able to use him due to the Aussie player's wretched luck with injuries.

One club said to be interested in Kewell are Aston Villa, who are also said to be interested in £12m Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy.

Rafa Benitez is taking a quick holiday at the moment, but if past form is anything to go off his mobile phone will rarely be quiet during the family break. Whether that is because he's getting told the names on his list are being ticked off one-by-one remains to be seen.