Liverpool poised to sign former Madrid 'jewel' striker

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Liverpool are reportedly closing in on the signature of Antonio Cassano.

The Italian international striker is set to leave Sampdoria in January after a major bust-up with club president Riccardo Garrone, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is thought ready to gamble on the maverick forward.

Cassano had a controversial, falling out-of-favour during his time at both Roma and Real Madrid before the recent bust-up at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Liverpool are thought to be in the market for a striker in the opening month of 2011, with Hodgson keen to find a foil for Fernando Torres at Anfield.

Nicknamed 'the jewel of old Bari', Cassano has recently forced his way back into the Italian international side and is now the country's starting striker.

Despite his temperemental past, the Reds are thought to be willing to gamble on the player, with Liverpool set to capitalise on a cut-price deal as the Serie 'A' side look to offload the player.

Money wouldn't appear to be the stumbling block either, with new owners NESV set to offer Hodgson a transfer war chest in the region of £35 million at Merseyside.

Liverpool are trying to fight their way back into European contention, but a lack of firepower could hinder their attempts to rise up the Premier League table.

Cassano could be the most viable option for Liverpool in January, and reports in Italy claim that the player will leave his current club in January.

The Metro goes on to suggest that he is ready to sign for Liverpool.

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