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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Espanyol give Riera 72 hours to join Liverpool

Espanyol winger Albert Riera has been told by his club he has 72 hours to finalise his move to Liverpool.

The club's official website appeared to confirm Rafael Benitez's side were in pole position to sign the Spaniard after revealing talks between Espanyol and Liverpool were 'going well'.

Reports on Tuesday claimed Liverpool had reached a deal with the Barcelona-based side to sign Riera in an £8million deal, but Espanyol sporting director Paco Herrera insisted there were still some issues to be cleared up before a move could be completed.

'This is a sensitive time, and we need to make sure we reach a solution one way or another,' he said.

'Everything is going well and a deal can be reached. The differences we have are ones we can solve and in the next two or three days there has to be a solution because there is no more time.'

On Monday, club president Daniel Sanchez Llibre revealed two unnamed English clubs had bid for the player, with one side offering more money than the other.

The club offering the higher bid is believed to be Everton, but Herrera confirmed on Monday that Riera was more interested in joining the side offering the lower bid.

Benitez revealed Liverpool were in negotiations to buy Riera but that no agreement on fee and contract has yet been reached.

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