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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 14:53 UK

Benitez rules out move for Villa

David Villa
Villa missed out on the Euro 2008 final through injury

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has ruled out an immediate move for Spain striker David Villa, but has admitted he is interested in signing Robbie Keane.

Peter Crouch's imminent move to Portsmouth means Liverpool are in the market for a new striker and on Tuesday Benitez admitted Villa was an option.

"I said the other day that he is one of the names we had on our list," the Spaniard said of the Valencia forward.

"But I can say at this moment that it is not an option for us."

He added: "We know Villa is a very good player, we know the price and we know the players we have, so when you consider everything we decided he was one of the names, but at this moment, not our target."

Tottenham striker Keane has also been linked with a move to Anfield this summer and Benitez admitted he is one of several options the club are currently looking at.

"Keane is one of the other names and OK, we are still working with other names. We were in contact and we will see now."

However, Liverpool could be priced out of a move for the 28-year-old Irishman as Benitez continues his search for a partner for Fernando Torres.

The 23-year-old Spaniard scored 33 goals in a spectacular first season at Anfield, but the club's other strikers only managed a combined total of 17 goals to undermine any hopes of launching a sustained Premier League title challenge.

Villa, 26, scored 18 league goals for Valencia last season and was the top scorer at Euro 2008, notably scoring a hat-trick against Russia in a Group D match.

And he also proved he could form an effective partnership with Torres, despite pre-tournament concerns that Spanish coach Luis Aragones would be forced to leave one out in order to select a balanced team.

see also
Tottenham target forward Garcia
10 Jul 08 |  Tottenham
Crouch agrees terms with Pompey
09 Jul 08 |  Portsmouth
Barry returns to Villa training
09 Jul 08 |  Aston Villa
Liverpool sign young Dane Saric
07 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool face battle for Keane
01 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Germany 0-1 Spain
29 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Liverpool secure deal for Dossena
04 Jul 08 |  Liverpool

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