Champions League omission raises doubts over Sami Hyypia's Liverpool future

By Ian Doyle on Jan 31, 09 10:29 AM in Journalists

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SAMI HYYPIA'S Anfield future could be called into question after the defender was again left out of Liverpool's Champions League squad.

The Finland international was not part of the 25-man pool for the group stages with UEFA rules limiting the number of foreign players. And Hyypia, a regular starter in the Premier League in recent months, has again been overlooked for the knockout stages with centre-backs Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Jamie Carragher already at Rafael Benitez's disposal.

Sunderland are among a number of clubs are monitoring Hyypia's situation and could now make an effort to lure the veteran to the North East, although Benitez wants the player to stay.

While Hyypia misses out, Philipp Degen keeps his place in the Champions League squad despite having not yet completed a full game for Liverpool since his summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund.

Degen has been sidelined by a succession of injuries, and picked up another knock playing for the reserves against Manchester United in midweek. Asked if Hyypia would be in the Champions League squad, Benitez said yesterday: "I don't think so. It will be difficult.

"We cannot change too much. We don't have too many options. We need a right full-back just in case. I have told him. It was very positive. He is a good professional and he understands. I want him to stay."

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