Imago

Garcia nears Atleti deal

Garcia to complete Atletico switch
By Eurosport

02/07/2007 at 11:45Updated

Luis Garcia is expected to join Atletico Madrid from Liverpool within the next 36 hours, according to the midfielder's agent.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a move back to the Spanish capital, where he played for Atleti in 2002-03, after spending much of last season on the sidelines at Anfield with a serious knee injury.

It had been mooted that the Spain international could form a makeweight in Atletico striker Fernando Torres's proposed move to Liverpool, although Garcia's agent Manuel Garcia Quillon suggested his client's deal would go through regardless of the Torres situation.

Quillon said: "We are working on Luis Garcia's permanent transfer to Atletico de Madrid. If all goes well, the deal should be completed either today or tomorrow."

Liverpool target Torres appears certain to leave the Vicente Calderon after fellow striker Diego Forlan signed for Atleti over the weekend. But the World Cup star's final destination is still unsure, even though Liverpool are thought to be favourites to capture his signature.

The 23-year-old's pricetag could yet prove to be a stumbling block for Reds manager Rafael Benitez, with Italian champions Internazionale are lying in wait should there be any hiccups.

The problem lies with Torres' wage demands, which would more than double his overall cost. According to The Sun, Torres is asking for a six-year contract worth £31.2million, a bill which Liverpool will have to foot on top of the £27million transfer fee they will have to pay to prise him out of his contract with Atleti.

Garcia's move in the opposite direction would reduce that figure by the tune of an estimated £4million, but even with that sum, the purse strings of new owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks will have to be seriously flexed if they are to get their man.

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