The People says Crouch and Michael Johnson are heading for a shock £12million swap in a delayed deal that was scheduled for the January window.
England striker Crouch has been cleared for a new link-up with his former national team boss Sven Goran Eriksson at Manchester City.
The transfer should have gone through already but was held up by Johnson's injury lay-off after an aborted return from a double hernia operation.
It was a done deal until 19-year-old Johnson broke down after being rushed back from surgery. The midfield prodigy will be out for around another four weeks, putting the switch back to the end of the season. Johnson's heart is set on a move to Anfield, a dream he was in line to realise last summer until Eriksson's arrival as City boss halted Benitez's first attempt to buy him.