Football

Liverpool and United face January battle for £12.5 million striker

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Liverpool and Manchester United are ready for a January battle for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, according to reports in Italy.

Tuttosport are suggesting that Juventus are in pole position to secure the Frenchman’s signature, but there has long been interest from the Premier League.

United have admired Benzema since his days at Lyon and have experienced him up close many times in the Champions League.

Benzema is currently one of the players Jose Mourinho will clear out as he tries to cut some of the deficit in his transfer spending.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has been searching high and low for a back up or partner for Fernando Torres but has been knocked back by many clubs in his pursuit.

West Ham, Fulham and Wolves all turned down bids of around £9 million for Carlton Cole, Bobby Zamora and Kevin Doyle respectively while Bayern Munich rejected a loan offer for Mario Gomez.

Now, with Benzema available for a cut-price 15 million euros (£12.5 million), all three clubs will vye for his signature.

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