French wonderkid in Liverpool sights

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Football News

Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli is keen to bring Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann to Anfield.

The French teenage sensation has been a long term target for Manchester United and Arsenal ever since he broke through into Real Sociedad's first team last season in the Spanish second division.

Comolli has joined the race for his signature and he regards the young Frenchman very highly, and there are believed to be four clubs circling Griezmann.

In addition to the interest of Liverpool, there are also Olympique Marseille, Lyon and Sevilla monitoring his form leading up to the January market.

He plays mainly as a left winger but can also be utilized as a striker. Griezmann is known for his technical skill, quick acceleration, and dribbling, and is a French Youth international having represented his country at U-19 level. In 2010, he was also part of the team that won the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championships on home soil.

Roy Hodgson knows he needs to be wise in the transfer market, as new owners NESV have promised him money to spend, but want him to invest some of it into players for the future of Liverpool football club.

Liverpool owner John W Henry said shortly after his takeover that their aim is to overhaul Liverpool's youth policy in an attempt to catch up with Manchester United and Arsenal, and that is to be done with the signing or promotion of young players into the first-team ranks.

"On the field we have to be smarter," said Henry last month. "Arsenal and Manchester United have depth that is young and capable. We do not. We have a lot of work to do there. A lot of work. And we will, but we have to be smart about it."

Griezmann would certainly fit that bill as he is a young and talented player, but he also has experience having played just shy of 40 matches last season. He would provide Joe Cole with cover, or could even start on the left with Joe Cole being used on the right or vice versa.

Any potential move for the Frenchman could spell the end for Ryan Babel. The Holland winger has cut a frustrated figure at Liverpool this season and Roy Hodgson is unconvinced with his form.

He could also be used as cover for the Liverpool forwards, Fernando Torres, David Ngog and Dirk Kuyt, if any of them were to be injured or suspended.

Sociedad are reluctant to discuss terms about his sale, at least until the end of the season. Real do not want to sell Griezmann - who made headlines recently when he celebrated a goal in a car - but know they will be powerless should a big enough bid come in.

No price tag has been given to Griezmann, but it is believed that a move in the region of £5 million from Liverpool should be enough to acquire his services.


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Joe Cole
Ryan Babel
Premier League

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