Morientes it is
Thursday, 16th December 2004
Real Madrid?s Spanish international Fernando Morientes is set to become the fifth Spaniard at Anfield following the arrivals of Josemi, Núñez, García and Alonso in the summer.

The sickening injury to Djibril Cissé and more recently the hamstring strain to Milan Baro? has left Benítez very short of fire power upfront.

The 28-year old has been in and out of the Real Madrid side of late and spent last season on loan in France at AS Monaco. He scored 10 goals in the league but it was his exploits in the Champions League scoring 9 times that helped the French club reach the Final.

He was believed to be part of the original deal that took Michael Owen to the Bernabéu, but that was scuppered when then manager José Antonio Camacho played him in a Champions League qualifier at Wisla Kraków. Fernando came off the bench to score both goals in a 2-0 win. Rafa Benítez kept Michael Owen on the bench the previous night as Liverpool beat Grazer AK by the same score.

Morientes has scored a very respectable 23 goals in 36 games for the national side, but since his return to Madrid he has yet to hit the target. That is hardly surprising as he currently fights for a starting place against Ronaldo, Michael Owen and his great friend Raúl.

A fee of around ?10m is thought to have been agreed between the two clubs and Morientes will arrive at Anfield at the turn of the year.

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