Liverpool prepare move for Italian 'jewel'

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Liverpool are being linked with a January move for Italian international striker Antonio Cassano.

Nicknamed 'the jewel of Old Bari', Cassano appears certain to make a Sampdoria exit in January after a major bust-up with president Ricardo Garrone.

The Italian international is reported to have verbally abused Garrone, and after looking into the possibility of terminating his contract the club are thought to be set to sell him immediately when the transfer window re-opens.

Liverpool have emerged as the favourites for the player's signature in the Italian press, with Roy Hodgson searching for a foil to Fernando Torres as the Reds look to strengthen their striking options.

The Anfield club have struggled at the start of the current season with a lack of firepower behind 'El Nino', and Liverpool appear certain to delve into their transfer pot in the New Year.

Owners NESV have reportedly given Hodgson £35 million to spend when the transfer window re-opens, and the Liverpool boss has highlighted an attacking player as his priority.

Peter Crouch, Mario Gomez and Carlton Cole are three other strikers linked with the Merseyside club, but Cassano's availability makes him a great option for Liverpool.

The former Fulham boss could face competition for the signature though, with the Metro reporting that Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is also keen on the Maverick striker.

An Italian international with five goals in 19 caps, Cassano has top level experience with Roma and Sampdoria in Serie 'A', as well as Real Madrid in La Liga.

Premier League

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