£6million Pennant could be Liverpool bound
Liverpool are on the brink of capturing winger Jermaine Pennant in a £6million plus move from Birmingham.
Sources close to the Coca-Cola Championship club claim a deal has been agreed and that the player is on his way to Liverpool for further talks.
Liverpool have been trailing the former Arsenal youngster for several weeks, but had Sevilla's Brazilian right-sided midfielder Daniel Alves as their number one target.
But the Spanish club are insisting on a £12million deal, and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez considers that too high, a fee which would wipe out his entire summer transfer budget.
Benitez claimed on Monday that there 'could be another two players in by the weekend,' and his first target was clearly Pennant.
Birmingham have confirmed that they have turned down one bid of £3.5million from the Anfield club, and Blues boss Steve Bruce claimed he was insisting on an £8million fee because of the 25% sell-on clause in the deal when he signed the player from Arsenal for £3million 12 months ago.
Talks during the day are believed to have seen Liverpool agree a £6.2million deal, which will leave Benitez funds to bring in another striker.
That could be Feyenoord's Holland international Dirk Kuyt, but again they will have to try to negotiate down the Dutch club's £12million asking price.
Liverpool have tried one player-cash approach, believed to involve Jan Kromkamp and Jerzy Dudek in part exchange, which was rejected.
But if the deal for Pennant - whose agent declined to discuss the situation on Monday - finally goes through, it will solve a year long problem for Benitez.
He has been trying to sign a right-sided attacker for the past three transfer windows.
Earlier in the day, Bruce confirmed he had already rejected an offer of around £3.5million from Benitez.
He said: 'We had an offer from Liverpool which we rejected and, until they meet our valuation of Jermaine Pennant, they will get the same answer.
'There's only been one bid, of around £3.5million. We paid £3million for Jermaine plus we owe Arsenal 25% of any sell-on fee.
'We don't want to sell him for £3.5million, that's for sure. Now it's a question of how far Liverpool are prepared to go in meeting our valuation.'
Bruce could use the money from a Pennant deal for Coventry striker Gary McSheffrey after the player insisted he was committed to the Sky Blues.
Birmingham have had two bids rejected for the player who was Coventry's leading scorer last season.
Bruce is keen to bring in new firepower to supplement DJ Campbell, Mikael Forssell and Cameron Jerome, particularly after the sale of Emile Heskey to Wigan for £5.5million.