£15M For Spanish Defend Star Is Targeted by Liverpool & Arsenal  

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Gunner and The Reds are both reportedly vying for the signature of Spanish international Raul Albiol this summer after the defender suggested the Premier League is of interest to him. The 23-year-old should be available as his club side Valencia continue to suffer from financial difficulties and will need to sell some of their prized assets, particularly as they are not as of yet assured Champions League football next term.

Reports suggest that even though the player has a buy-out clause of £50m he will be available for around £15m. The club’s Sporting Director Fernando Gomez as confirmed the club will consider any reasonable offers this week when he told Sky Sports, “The situation has not changed and we are obliged to sell players. We know of the English interest but we have not received a formal offer for Raul.”

“But we are aware that the Reds (Liverpool) have been scouting around here in recent months.”
Both the Gunners and the Reds are in the market for both centre-halves and defensive midfielders and Raul Albiol is able to play in both roles. He is a mainstay of the Valencia side have made 29 League appearances this season (28 starts). The 23-year-old has been a first team regular at the Mestalla for the past 4 seasons, making 126 League appearances and scoring 5 goals. His only club honours were the Spanish Cup in 2008 and he’s expected to depart the club this summer.

The Premier League could be perfect because I have always been a fan of the football they play.”

The Spanish international began his career with the Valencia B side but a season with Getafe in 2004/05 allowed the youngster to show his quality where he made 17 League appearances for the club (15 starts). Albiol is a full Spanish international with 12 caps to his name and was part of the victorious Euro 2008 squad playing in two of the group games including 1 start. The Valencia star was also part of Spain’s winning side in the Uefa U19 championship in 2004 alongside the likes of Juanfan, Sergio Ramos, David Silva and Ruben de la Red.

Liverpool may well lose Daniel Agger in the summer so Albiol may join the Spanish contingent at Anfield although Arsene Wenger may see the player as the ideal man to play alongside his compatriot Cesc Fabregas in the Gunners midfield or firm up the back four. At 6 ft 2, Albiol would certainly boost the strength of the Arsenal side. So do you like the look of Raul Albiol? Would he be the ideal signing due to his versatility? Let’s hear your views.


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