Liverpool have had a Â£9.5m bid for Espanyol winger Albert Riera turned down by the Spanish side, according to reports. And Espanyol president Daniel Libre has told Liverpool they must pay almost the same amount they paid for Fernando Torres last summer.
Torres was purchased from Atletico Madrid for Â£20m – contrary to other reports claiming the fee was higher – and Libre said “If a club wants to sign Riera then the price will be 24million euros (Â£19million), and that figure will not change.”
Riera has been linked with a move to Merseyside for several weeks now as Rafa Benitez looks to add width to the squad, particularly on the left side of midfield. The former Man City loanee enjoyed an impressive season in La Liga last year and recently expressed his desire to move to a bigger club, but Libre said “We are very disappointed with the quotes made by the player last week. If a player wants to leave then they should speak with the club, not the press.” (Maybe Riera has been taking lessons from Tom Hicks?)
Â£19million seems excessively high for a player who was loaned out only 2 years ago and it is highly unlikely Rafa Benitez would be willing to pay such a vastly inflated sum. It will now be interesting to see if Benitez moves his attention elsewhere, with Stewart Downing another supposed target for the same position, or places a new bid for Riera.