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Liverpool raising interest in African stopper

Joining the likes of Manchester United and Juventus in the race for his signature, Liverpool will also go in for Mehdi Benatia this summer as a bid to solve their defensive woes.

The Reds are rumoured to be considering the sale of Daniel Agger who has been linked with several teams in Italy as well as elsewhere on the continent.

If the Dane were to head for the Anfield exit, reinforcements would surely be needed to replace the central defender and with the topic of Jamie Carragher’s retirement becoming an increasing talking point, a centre-back could be on the shopping list.

Sebastian Coates was brought in for a fee of £7m last summer as a supposed long-term successor to Carragher but the Uruguayan starlet hasn’t quite made his big impact just yet.

Benatia would provide a much more immediate solution to the Liverpool defence and from this season’s work with Udinese, one can see what a force the Moroccan international can be.

The 24 year-old has made 28 appearances for the Serie A outfit this season since completing a transfer from Clermont in 2010.

He is also a Moroccan international, making 16 appearances for the African nation since 2008, scoring a sole goal.

Liverpool would be expected to pay around €16m for the defender’s signature but funds could most certainly be made available if recent spending patterns at Anfield are anything to go by.

In the past year, Liverpool have spent well over £100m on transfers alone and New England Sports Ventures could be just as willing to invest at the end of this season if the Merseysiders miss out on a European spot.

Liverpool may not provide the same promise of immediate trophies as some of the other clubs looking to sign Benatia but that hasn’t stopped Kenny Dalglish’s side from luring top talents to the team in recent seasons.