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By ESPN Staff

Benitez expects Riera to sign by transfer deadline

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is confident the signing of Espanyol midfielder Albert Riera will finally be completed on the last day of the current transfer window.

Riera is expected to tie up a move to Anfield today for a fee believed to be in the region of £8million.

And Benitez is also anticipating that Xabi Alonso will remain a Liverpool player.

But his joy may be tempered if the news regarding Fernando Torres' hamstring injury is not encouraging.

The Spanish star pulled up suddenly during the first half of the Reds' goalless draw at Aston Villa yesterday and will undergo a scan today to determine the extent of the damage.

Benitez said: 'The deal for Riera is nearly done. We are waiting and hopefully it will be done.

'I have confidence that it will. It can improve us and give us a bit of balance.

'It is nearly done. We are in contact with Espanyol.

'Maybe it not done yet because it was the weekend. I also think that Alonso will be staying.

'But as regards Torres we will have to wait and see how serious the injury is.

'He will have a scan today. Clearly when you lose Steven Gerrard and then you lose Torres, it is always a problem.

'The only positive news is to have an international break now. At least they will have time to recover and we will see.

'It will be 10-15 days and Gerrard can maybe lose only one game. Torres could be more or less the same. It will be important to lose them for one game but not the worst situation.'

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