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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 6, 2006

Benitez searching for new blood at Liverpool

Liverpool have been back in training for just three days and there are already four new faces in the squad - with more expected to come this summer at Anfield.

Manager Rafael Benitez yesterday confirmed Chile winger Mark Gonzalez has been granted a work permit, with Brazilian full-back Fabio Aurelio also completing his free transfer move from Valencia.

With Craig Bellamy already on board and Argentinian defender Gabriel Paletta signing a four-year contract, there is a strong South American - and Welsh - flavour about Benitez's new arrivals.

But it is unlikely to stop there. Benitez is believed to be back in the hunt for Real Betis winger Joaquin, with Feyenoord's striker Dirk Kuyt and Birmingham winger Jermaine Pennant also on his list.

It is being rumoured Jerzy Dudek, Antonio Barragan and Boudewijn Zenden could also be on the move, with Barragan poised for a switch to Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.

Dietmar Hamann is on the brink of a free transfer to Manchester City, while Chris Kirkland could be joining Wigan. Bruno Cheyrou, Ramon Calliste and David Raven have also left the club.

It is a remarkable and relentless change of personnel at Liverpool, with Benitez particularly happy with the signings of Aurelio and Gonzalez.

Of the Gonzalez deal, after a year-long wait for a work permit, Benitez said: 'This is very good news for us and I am absolutely delighted to welcome Mark to Liverpool as he is a player the supporters will like to see.

'Mark is an exciting left winger who can cross good balls and beat defenders and he is a very good signing for us. He has a very good mentality, as when I was talking with him he told me, `I want to play for Liverpool'.'

Aurelio, like Gonzalez and Paletta, has been training with Liverpool this week, having seen his Valencia contract run out last Friday, but the fine points of the move were only completed finally yesterday.

Benitez said: 'Fabio is a player with a lot of quality and he is a really good signing for us.

'His technical ability is fantastic and he has a great left foot and provides the team with a lot of options. He has a really good mentality and he is a winner.'

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