Benitez ready to launch Liverpool spending spree

Liverpool hope to kickstart their spending spree next week with the sale of Peter Crouch to Portsmouth.

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The Sun says Crouch's departure will kick-start the Reds' summer business, allowing Rafa Benitez to pursue his moves for a striker and midfielder in addition to Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry.

The Kop boss is keen on Valencia's Spain star David Villa, and has also checked out Newcastle winger James Milner and Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing. But Benitez is refusing to meet Villa's £18m asking price for Barry.

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