Pellegrino rejoins Benitez at Anfield

Mauricio Pellegrino yesterday completed his move to Liverpool on a free transfer, as predicted by The Independent on Tuesday. The 33-year-old Argentinian central defender has agreed a six-month contract, with the option of a further year, after being released by Valencia.

It means he will team up again with the former Valencia manager manager Rafael Benitez, now in charge at Liverpool. Pellegrino becomes the fifth player to move to Anfield from La Liga since the Spaniard's arrival. However the chances of Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes becoming a sixth have receded slightly after it emerged yesterday that his agent Gines Carvajal spent Tuesday in talks with French club Lyon. This has irked Benitez who had believed that Morientes was keen to join him.

That may still be the case but the longer the Morientes deal drags on, the greater Nicolas Anelka's chances or returning to Liverpool are. As yet no contact has been made with Manchester City and though Anelka was omitted from City's team against Arsenal, manager Kevin Keegan insisted that the Frenchman was injured. He also said that no offer had been made for Anelka but added: "If that changes and they [Liverpool] rang up and the offer was massive, we would let him go, but we owe £5m [to Paris Saint-Germain] on him, so they'd better have plenty of money."

The deal to secure Pellegrino will hasten the departure of defender Stephane Henchoz who yesterday broke off talks over a move to Rangers, claiming he would prefer to stay in the Premiership. He has attracted interest from City and Southampton but his high wage demands may prove prohibitive. At the same time Benitez has issued an ultimatum to Igor Biscan, who has been given permission to to speak to other clubs, to decide whether he wants to leave Anfield, or stay until the summer.

Pellegrino arrives having won two La Liga titles, and appeared in a Uefa Cup final, under Benitez. He joined Valencia, from Barcelona, in 1999 and also featured in two Champions' League finals as well as making three appearances for his country. However he is nearing the end of his career and although powerful is not the most mobile of defenders and has been hampered by injury. Pellegrino said last night: "At my age it's a great satisfaction that this opportunity comes along. I have always wanted to play in English football."

Also wanting to stay in the Premiership is Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini and, according to the Italian's agent, he is attracting the interest of Liverpool. Federico Pastorello said yesterday: "In England there could be some clubs interested. Liverpool could be interested in Carlo but other clubs also."

Cudicini is currently No 2 to Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge, and his agent said a meeting will take place towards the end of the season to decide his future. "I'm waiting to have a meeting with Chelsea to speak about the situation. But Carlo is very relaxed about it," Pastorello said. Cudicini is hoping for a move to either Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United if he has to leave Chelsea to gain first-team football. He would also consider a move back to Italy and Pastorello confirmed that Inter- nazionale had made an inquiry about the 31-year-old last month.

The Serie A club are currently in the process of signing Brazilian Julio Cesar on a three-year deal from Flamengo instead. Ironically he has also interested Chelsea who considered him to replace Cudicini who they are prepared to let go, possibly even this month. Inter are hoping to persuade Cesar, the Brazil No2 goalkeeper, to go out on loan to Reggina before completing his switch to the San Siro at the end of the season.

News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas
film
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee