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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 30, 2006

Barca and Liverpool fight for Brazilian full-back

Liverpool appear to be facing a fierce battle with Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid to sign Brazilian full-back Daniel Alves.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez - who is currently on a short holiday - had put the Sevilla star at the top of his shopping list and it is believed a £7million bid has been lodged.

The 22-year-old Alves, who can also play in midfield, has yet to play for his country but impressed in Sevilla's successful UEFA Cup campaign and had a fine game in the final against Middlesbrough.

The player's agent, Jose Rodriguez Baster, said in Spanish newspaper Marca: 'To all the teams that have called me, and in addition to everyone publicly, I have said that the first thing they must do is speak with Sevilla, to reach an agreement with the club.

'Barcelona were put in contact with us to know Daniel's situation and we directly transferred them to Sevilla. Since then, we have not spoken with them.

'Nothing can be discarded and, in addition, there are great clubs also involved who have not yet been publicised.

'I cannot say it, with respect to the clubs, but I can say that there are three important clubs, at European level, that have shown their interest in Alves.'

There are problems also for another of Liverpool's summer targets, Chile winger Mark Gonzalez.

Liverpool will submit another work-permit application for the young winger later this week, aware that the player was sent home from the Chile squad after an alleged breach of discipline while on his country's European tour following last week's match in Dublin against the Republic of Ireland.

Gonzalez has now threatened never to play for his country again, after an incident involving team-mate Reinaldo Navia in the team hotel.

Chile coach Nelson Acosta axed the pair after they were allegedly caught in a hotel room with three girls.

Gonzalez, who spent a spell on loan at Real Sociedad last term because he was not allowed to play in the UK, has denied the allegations and admitted he was hurt by the decision to send him home.

He said: 'After what has happened, a lot of damage has been made to me. I am in a great moment of my career and this gives me a lot of problems.

'Now I am going to think very careful if I will wear again the national shirt because I told Acosta that there was a misunderstanding with what happened in Dublin but even with my explanations he decided to sent me back to Chile.

'It has been something really stupid but it has put me into problems. The press all over the world has been talking about me and I don't like that at all. I am really ashamed about all this.

'Neither Navia or me were drunk and I have already explained that we were with three girls only giving them our autographs. The press should say things how they were and not make us be the bad ones of the matter.'

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