Benitez clears decks to free transfer cash

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Four players are in the process of leaving Liverpool - including a bizarre departure by Dietmar Hamann - as the club steps up its chase to bring major new arrivals to Anfield.

Hamann's long-winded move to Manchester City via Bolton Wanderers inside the next 24 hours stole the show as far as departures from Merseyside go, but Liverpool also loaned out their fourth-choice goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to Wigan for six months with a permanent deal of around £1m expected.

Hamann has been coveted by Manchester City and Bolton, and it appeared that the Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce had got his man, only for Hamann to have second thoughts once Allardyce's City counterpart Stuart Pearce made his offer for the 32-year-old.

With contract talks being dragged out due to Hamann's World Cup broadcasting commitments on German television, Allardyce was informed that he intended to join City. His initial reaction was one of fury, however, once it became apparent how determined Hamann was to join City, Allardyce felt he had little option other than to step aside.

Djibril Cissé's exit to Marseilles will be concluded today, a season-long loan which will eventually pull in around £8m when he has finally recovered from his broken leg.

Liverpool are still expecting the £1.7m move of Antonio Barragan to Deportivo La Coruña to be completed by Friday.

All this means that the Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez can be expected to try to finally tie up the move of Daniel Alves from Seville, despite talks having stalled last week over the failure of Liverpool to meet the £12m asking price.

Benitez also still fancies Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt and Birmingham City's Jermaine Pennant, and the fact that the departures of Cissé and Hamann alone will free up around £5m a year in wages is another bargaining boost.

Benitez needs the extra cash from outgoing moves to finance the rest of his summer spending spree, having already brought in Craig Bellamy, Gabriel Paletta, Mark Gonzalez and Fabio Aurelio.