Benitez brings in £1.5m Rodriguez

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The Independent Football

Now he finally has some money coming in, Rafa Benitez, the Liverpool manager, is planning on spending it almost immediately with the £1.5m acquisition of Atletico Madrid's Maxi Rodriguez virtually complete.

Sources at Liverpool suggest Benitez had to wait for money from deals for Andrea Dossena and Andrei Voronin before he could start spending. A £4m agreement has been reached with Napoli for Dossena, while Voronin is heading for Dynamo Moscow for £2m and Philipp Degen is also rumoured to be on the way out of Anfield with Bundesliga side Stuttgart his likeliest destination.

Benitez has had the 29-year-old right-winger Rodriguez watched from the start of the season as well as taking advice from Argentine compatriot Javier Mascherano and former Atletico team-mate Fernando Torres.

"We were talking with Atletico Madrid and it is nearly done with them," Benitez said. "He is not the kind of right-winger who can beat players with pace but he has ability and he can do a job for the team."

Ryan Babel, who is either mercurial or simply frustrating depending on your footballing outlook, had also been pencilled in for a move away from Liverpool. However Benitez said: "We received an offer for the player and he said that he did not want to leave the club. Therefore we rejected the offer. If I do not find any good replacements I will try to keep him."

Benitez will now have an extra day off to mull what moves he should make in this transfer window after Liverpool's scheduled encounter with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield tomorrow afternoon fell victim to the weather.

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