Benitez makes cheeky loan bid for Agger
Liverpool have received an audacious loan bid from Napoli for defender Daniel Agger. Former Reds manager Rafa Benitez is keen to take the Danish centre-half in January for the remainder of the season, write John Percy and Chris Bascombe.
Agger has fallen out of favour under Brendan Rodgers, with Mamadou Sakho making an impressive return against West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur. Sakho, a £17m summer signing at Anfield, is expected to be established at Agger's expense for the rest of the campaign.
Benitez, who tried to sign Martin Skrtel in the summer, will have noted Agger's predicament and potential lack of first-team opportunities and made contact with the Merseyside club yesterday.
However, it is highly unlikely Liverpool will entertain a loan offer for such a highly rated player, especially as they have recently turned down cash offers for the 29-year-old. Agger was the subject of an £18m Manchester City bid in 2012 and last summer committed himself to Anfield amid strong interest from Barcelona.
He will attract interest from Champions League clubs in the transfer window and with Napoli only able to offer the Europa League, Benitez will need to be at his most persuasive to stand any chance.
Benitez signed Agger from Danish club Bromby in January 2007 for £5.5m. Although the centre-half has suffered numerous injury problems during his six-year stint on Merseyside, he is one of the most cultured players in Rodgers' squad.
He recently said he would willingly commit the rest of his career to Liverpool but circumstances may have changed if he is on the bench.
Benitez has already raided his old club for goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who is spending the season with the Serie A club although he, like Agger, is attracting interest from Barcelona.
Liverpool remained quiet about the offer last night but can expect Benitez to step up his interest in the next two weeks. (© Daily Telegraph, London)