Benayoun deal agreed, and Babel?

Reports tonight claim Liverpool and West Ham have finalised a deal for midfielder Yossi Benayoun and the Israeli international will sign for the Reds on Wednesday.

The fee is reportedly £4 million and he could be joined by fellow attacking midfielder Ryan Babel from Ajax as Liverpool step up their summer spending, with a deal worth up to £13.5 million being finalised for the Dutchman.

27 year old Benayoun is seen as a replacement for Luis Garcia who joined Atletico Madrid last week and brings Premiership experience to the squad, having joined West Ham in 2005 from Racing Santander.

ryan babel20 year old Babel can play as an attacking left winger or as a forward and impressed in the recent under 21 championships. He has been likened to Thierry Henry by some fans and pundits but is still very young and will arrive as more of a player for the future rather than an immediate first team regular.

Ajax technical director Martin van Geel said “Liverpool are willing to pay a huge sum for Ryan,” he said. “We have told them what we want, and that’s 20m euros (£13.5m). That is our price. We will see if we can reach a deal in the coming days.”

One player excited by the arrivals of Benayoun, Babel and record signing Fernando Torres is club captain Steven Gerrard, he told the Liverpool Echo “Some of the other players we’re being linked with excite me too. It’s great to see us looking at young, hungry players with their best years ahead of them.’

The Reds have also been heavily linked with a move for 23 year old Portugeese left winger Ricardo Quaresma, any deal there could be around the £13m mark.

Gerrard continued ‘œSince I’ve been in the first team I can’t remember us making such a major statement of intent in the transfer market as this.”

‘œIn recent years it’s only really been Manchester United and Chelsea buying players around the £20m mark, so it’s great to see us able to compete for players of that kind of value.”