Liverpool move for Brazilian Anderson

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The Independent Football

Gérard Houllier has set up a move for Lyon's Brazilian international Sonny Anderson as a stop-gap striker. The Liverpool manager has contacted Anderson and his agent to ask him to come to Anfield for next season if he is unable to sign his principal target, Auxerre's Djibril Cissé. The 32-year-old has an excellent record at Lyon, and Monaco and Barcelona before that, and he is available for a small fee from the French champions.

Houllier admires the powerful striker who has been capped by Brazil, but has been out of their plans lately. Liverpool are exploring the background for a work permit.

Lyon will let Anderson go because they plan to recruit a young striker of their own this summer, with Bordeaux's Portuguese World Cup striker Pauleta their favourite target.

Houllier's transfer dealings are proceeding slowly. He has left a £3.5m offer with another French club, Bastia, for the Ghanaian midfielder Mickael Essien and hopes to sign Steve Finnan from Fulham despite late interest from Manchester United.

The Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie said there is still some way to go before a deal for the Ipswich midfielder Matt Holland can be completed. Ipswich yesterday "reluctantly" accepted a £750,000 bid from the Premiership newcomers for the Republic of Ireland international. That would reunite Holland with Harry Redknapp who released him during his time as West Ham manager.

Ipswich, who were prepared to sell the player to Aston Villa for £4m last summer, had hoped to keep Holland, but financial reasons forced them to accept the cut-price offer. Storrie said: "We have spoken to Ipswich about Matt... but we still have to talk and agree terms with him and nothing is going to happen for at least 10 days."

Holland played in part of yesterday's behind closed doors game between Brian Kerr's senior Republic of Ireland side and Don Given's Under-21 team at Dublin's Tolka Rovers ground and looks certain to win his 32nd cap against the Albanians on Saturday.

Steven Reid is poised to make his first competitive start. The Millwall midfielder scored as the senior side won 3-1 with the other goals coming from Damien Duff and Robbie Keane. Celtic's Liam Miller was the scorer for the Under-21s. Reid, the subject of a possible move to Blackburn, now looks certain to win his ninth cap.

Eyal Berkovic's personal demands are holding up his move from Manchester City. Portsmouth have agreed a fee of just under £1m for the Israeli midfielder, but talks about a contract stalled because of his request for almost £2m-a-year in wages.