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Anfield Banter: Torres talks get serious, a new Academy manager, & Gonzo to play tonight

* Apparently, the talks between Atletico and LFC concerning Torres have reached an 'advanced' stage. Rafa is putting Torres to the test on rather he truly wants to come to Liverpool by asking him to forgo the 10% cut of the buyout clause/transfer fee he is contractually entitled too. Apparently this will be a cash deal only as we are not willing to give up Peter Crouch nor Luis Garcia. I'm pretty sure Cisse is still available though. I expect this to be resolved in the next week or it'll be abandoned all together and we'll either go after Bent, if he hasn't been signed by Tottenham yet, or if they have, see what the Jermaine Defoe situation is.

* Steve Heighway's replacement will be Piet Hamberg, a former Ajax player and Grasshoppers manager. He'll have some tough shoes to fill as Heighway lead the Academy to the only three FA Youth Cups in our history including the last two, but his credentials and experience speak for themselves as Ajax and Grasshoppers are both known for their youth development programs. He's also not inheriting a bad team, featuring Martin Hansen, Astrit Adjarevic, and newcomers Gary Mackay Steven and Alexander Kacaniklic.

* Finally, despite reports, Mark Gonzales, who should start for Chile tonight against Ecuador in their opening Copa America match, still plays for us and not Real Betis, who apparently are having problems with his transfer fee. I have a feeling that whether or not he is still in a Liverpool kit next season depends on his performance in this tourney. Though I was wholly disappointed in his performance last year, I think his youth and inexperience, as well as injuries I might add, played a part in his poor efforts, and ultimately he deserves a second chance. We'll have to wait and see though.

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