Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Liverpool Agree Riera Deal With Espanyol

Liverpool have beaten off the challenge of neighbours Everton to sign Albert Riera from Espanyol after negotiations were concluded over a deal late on Monday evening.

Liverpool Agree Riera Deal With Espanyol

Rafa Benítez was keen to tie up a deal for a left-side player after being told that the club would not fund his bid to prise Gareth Barry away from Aston Villa.

Riera is reported to have told his agent and Espanyol that he would prefer to join Liverpool over Everton at the weekend and now he has had his wish granted.

The Spanish international is believed to have been allowed to leave the Blanc i Blau for a fee in the region of €12.5m and is set to fly to Merseyside to undergo a medical and sign a contract.

It became clear in the middle of last season that Riera would leave the Barcelona-based club this summer after he was left out of the side for long spells by Ernesto Valverde.

That scuppered his chances of maintaining his place in the Spain squad for the European Championships and he was not chosen for the squad that went on to lift the trophy in Austria and Switzerland.

Benítez wil be pleased to have found an answer to his left-sided problems and the signing of the 26-year-old has meant that any interest in Stewart Downing is now over.

Riera rose through the ranks at Real Mallorca before making his first team debut in 2000 and after three seasons he then opted to move to France to play for Girondins Bordeauz.

Two successful campaigns in Ligue 1 ended with the Manacor-born wideman wanting to return to Spain and in 2005 he signed for Espanyol only to then go back out on loan to Manchester City.

A change of coach at the Blanc i Blau saw Riera return to the club and enjoy a run in the side, but last term things took a downward turn when he was left out of the team and now he has a chance to bounce back at Anfield.

from Lucas Brown, Goal.com

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