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Litmanen's agent Harry Kampman
"Both parties are very happy"
 real 14k

Thursday, 4 January, 2001, 15:23 GMT
Litmanen completes Liverpool switch
Jari Litmanen
Litmanen had his heart set on joining Liverpool
Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier insists that the signing of Jari Litmanen does not indicate the imminent departure of Robbie Fowler.

Litmanen completed a free transfer from Barcelona on Thursday and trained with his new team-mates for the first time.

His arrival has renewed speculation that Fowler could be set to leave Anfield.

But Houllier claimed: "We have needed a fourth striker since Titi Camara and Erik Meijer left.

We have signed a world-class player - one of the most exciting signings we have ever made
  Gerard Houllier, Liverpool manager
"I have a good memory of games when we did not have enough strikers because of injuries, so it is vital we have at least four here.

"This is something I have always stressed."

Houllier says he believes the signing of Litmanen is one of the club's most exciting transfer deals ever.

Houllier said: "We have signed a world class player.

"He comes with a reputation which needs no improvement.

"Jari knows all about Liverpool. He is a fan of the club and he wanted to play for us.

Jari Litmanen
Litmanen is rated as Finland's best-ever player

"He can play in a variety of positions in attack and will bring a different style of play than some of our other strikers."

Litmanen, a close friend and international team-mate of Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia, was exceptional in recent internationals against England and Wales.

He scored the first ever goal at Wales' Millennium Stadium - the new venue for the FA Cup final.

"Jari is a great goalscorer and I would say that this could be a great signing for the club," said Hyypia.

"From a personal point of view, it's nice to have a fellow Finnish international joining the squad.

"I have often spoken to him about the club and there's nothing I could tell him that he didn't already know.

Robbie Fowler
Fowler is still wanted at Anfield

"He knows everything about the club and is always talking about Liverpool."

Litmanen confirmed: "It has always been my dream to play for Liverpool.

"I have supported them since I was a child and there has been talk about me joining them before.

"I seem to have been linked with every club in Europe but it is no secret that Liverpool have always been very special to me."

Another boost for Liverpool is that Litmanen is not cup tied in Europe, such has been his fall from favour at Barcelona.

He is expected to make his debut in next week's Worthington Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace.

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03 Jan 01 |  Liverpool
Houllier to stay loyal to Liverpool
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