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Rock Zouma enjoys a fine debut season

Chelsea
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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool sign Frenchman Itandje, loan Carson

Liverpool have completed the signing of Lens goalkeeper Charles Itandje, according to the French club.

The capture of 24-year-old former France Under-21 international comes ahead of the Champions League registration deadline and allows England hopeful Scott Carson to join Aston Villa on loan.

Carson, who spent last season at Charlton, had requested another move in order to maintain his presence in the England squad and Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has agreed to the stopper's pleas to leave.

A Lens statement read: 'The directors of Lens have concluded the definitive sale of Charles Itandje to Liverpool Football Club.

'The Lens goalkeeper leaves Lens after six years of good and loyal service. We wish him good luck and best wishes for his future career.'

Itandje will be eligible to take his place in the squad for next week's Champions League qualifier in Toulouse.

Liverpool landed the player after seeing him linked with Manchester United, Villa, Lyon and Real Betis recently.

He will effectively take the place in the squad of Jerzy Dudek, who moved to Real Madrid over the summer.

Carson is still regarded highly by Benitez but the Spaniard could not see him featuring regularly this term. His loan move to Villa will no go through but he will not be able to play against Liverpool in their season opener this weekend due to Premier League rules preventing players facing parent clubs.

Benitez said: 'I am happy with the situation and for Scott to play regularly somewhere else. We do not want to lose him, certainly not sell him because we are very happy with him.

'He is a good lad and a very promising goalkeeper. But I can understand his need to maintain his place in the England squad. It will benefit him to be out on loan and for us to sign a new goalkeeper, then we will have three keepers all in action.'

Benitez also has two young keepers on the books in Nikolay Mihaylov and David Martin but does not feel they are ready for Champions League football.

Meanwhile, Benitez has expressed his confidence in the outcome of his attempts to sign Gabriel Heinze from Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson insists that he will not sell the full-back to Liverpool under any circumstances, even if Merseysiders have met United's valuation.

Heinze has called in his lawyers and after a meeting with Ferguson this week, will now have the case heard by a Premier League commission later this month.

Benitez said: 'The situation with Heinze is very clear and I am confident in the outcome. I am not looking for any other left-back.'