Arsenal to pull out of Peter Crouch race if Emmanuel Adebayor stays
LIVERPOOL have suffered another blow in their attempts to raise transfer funds with the sale of Peter Crouch.
Arsenal had emerged as one of the forward's suitors earlier in the week but the possibility of Emmanuel Adebayor staying at the club has put that interest in jeopardy.
The Togo forward sent out mixed messages yesterday, first declaring he was staying at the Emirates only to later say that he had yet to decide on his future, with AC Milan leading the race for his signature.
Adebayor's departure would leave manager Arsene Wenger in the hunt for striking reinforcements and would have the means to get closer to Liverpool's ÃÂ£15million valuation than any of the other clubs interested in Crouch.
That number has diminished further with the news that Newcastle United won't be pursuing him, while Portsmouth are still considering whether to improve on the ÃÂ£9m offer Liverpool have already turned down.
Adebayor's agent Vincenzo Morabito said earlier this week: "Milan have already stated their position, while Arsenal have started moving in the market in the hunt for an attacker to replace Adebayor. Until that search ends the deal won't move forward but I am quite optimistic because Arsenal are looking for a player. They're talking about (Mario) Gomez, (Roque) Santa Cruz, and (Peter) Crouch.
"I'd say there's a 70 to 80% chance Adebayor will go to Milan."
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez had insisted he would be happy to keep Crouch, but the player was unwilling to endure another season of cameo appearances.
But Benitez is now keen to get the best possible price for the 27-year-old in order to complete the transfer of Gather Barry from Aston Villa and have spare cash for other targets.
Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is not expected to be one of those despite constant speculation
linking him with a move.
And Benitez is, as expected, also set to abandon his interest in James Milner as Newcastle, who have already dismissed Liverpool's ÃÂ£7m valuation, are now insisting he won't be sold.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are likely to host Lazio in their first home pre-season friendly for five years.
Fernando Torres's former club Atletico Madrid had originally been pencilled in for the date of Friday, August 8, but the two clubs could not reach agreement.