Agger 'target for Real Madrid'
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger is a target for Real Madrid after the Spanish champions confirmed they are interested in bringing him to the Bernabeu in the January transfer window.
The 23-year-old Denmark international has struggled to break into Liverpool's starting line-up after a long rehabilitation from a broken foot, with manager Rafael Benitez having opted to start the season with the defensive partnership of Jamie Carragher and Martin Skrtel.
Benitez is believed to be keen to keep Agger at Anfield - who has two years remaining on his contract - but Real Madrid vice-president Jose Angel Sanchez admitted they are poised to make an offer.
"He [Agger] is a player we have been looking at for a long time and it is likely we will bid for him in January. He is a world-class player and without doubt he would fit into our plans," Sanchez told kunsport.dk.
"We already had plans about buying Agger this summer, along with some other players, but the Robinho situation took so much attention and demanded so many resources from the club that we had to drop the plans about putting a bid in for Agger and other players that we had in mind.
"What we need is a defender and a striker, and, at the moment, Agger is on top of our list."
In an interview with Danish television Agger denied that he had clashed with Benitez over his performance in a nervous goalless draw in the first leg of the Champions League qualifying clash at Standard Liege. Liverpool won the second leg 1-0.
"Of course there are things that Benitez was not satisfied with after Liege, but it is a big lie to say we had an argument," Agger said.
"I certainly hope it is only football reasons why I am not playing. I'm happy at Liverpool I have no problem in this club. The manager has just said that the team is playing very well and that is why I am not playing.
"I want to stay here and fight for my place in the squad. I'm not satisfied with the fact that I'm not playing but I have to cope and accept it."
However, Liverpool have issued a hands-off warning to Real Madrid and manager Benitez said: "The situation is very simple, Daniel Agger is our player and he is not for sale."
"His future is at Anfield and nowhere else. He knows my ideas because we have talked with him and he has a long future with us.
"We do not want to lose our concentration just before we play Manchester City by talking about other things but it is important that people know that Agger is not for sale."