Liverpool Agree Benayoun Fee

Yossi Benayoun's transfer to Liverpool moved a step closer to completion Wednesday when the Merseyside club agreed a fee with West Ham for the Israel midfielder.

England's Owen Hargreaves (left) reacts to Israel's Yossi Benayoun (right) as he flies past during their Euro Cup 2008 qualifying match

In a separate move, Liverpool have also been given permission to talk to Ajax winger Ryan Babel, who impressed for the Dutch side at the recent UEFA U-21 Championships.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has already signed strikers Andriy Voronin and Fernando Torres as he looks to close the gap on Premiership giants Manchester United and Chelsea.

"We've agreed the fee with West Ham for Yossi Benayoun," Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry told

"We're not quite there with Ryan Babel yet but we've now been given permission by Ajax to talk to the player. We hope to reach an agreement with Ajax very shortly."

Benayoun, valued at around £5 million pounds, joined West Ham from Spanish club Racing Santander two years ago and scored eight goals in 72 matches for the London side.

His arrival at Anfield would help the fill gap left by Luis Garcia's move to Atletico Madrid.

Source FIFA

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