Arsenal set to beat Liverpool in race to sign striker Marouane Chamakh  

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Morocco international is available on a free transfer and Benítez was initially hopeful of bringing him to Anfield.

Only last month Liverpool appeared to lead the race for his signature but the player has since admitted his first choice would be a move to Arsenal, and Benítez believes any chance of securing the player is now dead.

The 26-year-old has reportedly hit out at Liverpool for being "fussy" over contract negotiations but Benítez is angry at the breakdown of the deal.

"I think that we will not sign him - but I will not say [any more]," said the Spaniard.

Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Chamakh last summer after his current club, Bordeaux, demanded a £15 million transfer fee, but he is available for free at the end of the season after he refused to sign a new contract.

Benítez, meanwhile, has admitted he would welcome any new investors into the club but remains to be convinced of their impending arrival.

It had been suggested two tycoons from the sub-continent were competing for bids to buy a significant stake in the club, but representatives of Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries and the seventh-richest man in the world, denied claims he was interested in doing business with Liverpool's co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

"We can see a lot of rumours in the press but we have to concentrate on football," Benítez said. "Everyone knows we need a new stadium and investors if we want to go forward so it would be good for the club.

"Over the last two years everyone is talking about new investors and the new stadium and so all the fans are waiting for this good news and me too.

"I'll be really pleased if we can bring [in] people who can help to bring the new stadium closer. If I signed a new (five-year) contract last year it was because they (Hicks and Gillett) told me they would be going forward.

"I am waiting for a while. The only thing I can do now is just concentrate on football and do our best on the pitch."

Liverpool's co-owners are in talks with a number of parties about investing in the club and will consider any possible offer on its own merits rather than setting out a definitive investment package.

However, chief executive Christian Purslow is currently working on securing £100 million of outside investment which will significantly reduce the club's £237 million debt by the end of the season.


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