Morientes awaits chop as Benitez hunts for strikers

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The Independent Online

Fernando Morientes last night revealed that he has been unable to settle at Liverpool and expects to be sold when Rafael Benitez strengthens his FA Cup-winning squad this summer.

The 30-year-old has been a major disappointment at Anfield, where he scored only nine goals last season and was relegated to the substitutes' bench behind the equally unwanted Djibril Cissé for Saturday's showpiece in Cardiff. Morientes's disillusionment was compounded on Monday when he was omitted from Luis Aragones's Spain squad for the World Cup.

"I've been at Liverpool for a year and a half and with injuries and other things I've never felt right. I'll have to speak to the manager to see if he wants me but I can't stay if I don't play. I left Madrid because I didn't feel useful."

Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe and Craig Bellamy are all under consideration by the Liverpool manager, though he will not pay excessive amounts for those players. As for Morientes, he now finds himself in a similar position to Cissé in that Benitez would like to use them to raise transfer funds providing a club willing to match their wage demands steps forward.

On his absence from the Spanish World Cup squad Morientes, who is interesting several clubs in La Liga including Espanyol, added: "If I'd played more, if I'd scored 15 or 20 more goals, I'd have been able to expect something better but I haven't played well. My playing style was my guarantee but the terrible year I've had has put paid to that."

Carlos Tevez claimsthat Chelsea are intent on signing him after the club's chief executive, Peter Kenyon, confirmed over the weekend that they had looked at the Corinthians forward. The 22-year-old, who is in Argentina's World Cup squad, was signed for a South American record fee of £10m in December 2004.

"Chelsea intend to take me," he said. "They have shown a lot of affection towards me and my family."

Tests have cleared a hotel kitchen of food poisoning after Tottenham players were taken ill on the Premiership's final day. Samples from the kitchen at the Marriott Hotel in Canary Wharf, east London, were found "completely negative", the Health Protection Agency said. The most likely cause of the players' illness was found to have been a virus. Spurs were beaten by West Ham, forfeiting fourth place in the Premiership and with it a Champions' League place next season.

* Peter Taylor, the Hull City manager, has been given permission to speak to Charlton Athletic about the vacant managerial job and admits that he would consider it if offered.

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