Liverpool boss Benitez makes Keane priority signing

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The Guardian says the Reds manager has proposed a cash-plus-Peter Crouch deal but the Republic of Ireland international will have to agitate for a move to bring Benitez's pursuit to fruition.

Benitez, encouraged by Gareth Barry's willingness to make a public request for a move from Aston Villa, now hopes similar tactics will lure the 27-year-old Keane to Liverpool, the club he supported as a boy and who can offer Champions League football. Tottenham instantly dismissed Liverpool's approach last week but Benitez will persist with efforts to induce Keane to move. A £20m-rated deal involving Crouch would suit Liverpool but should the England forward resist a return to White Hart Lane they could put money from his sale towards a straight cash bid.

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