Reds agree Enrique fee
Liverpool moved closer to solving their problem at left-back after agreeing a fee with Newcastle for defender Jose Enrique.
The Reds will discuss personal terms with the Spaniard when he arrives on Merseyside for his medical at their Melwood training ground on Thursday afternoon. Enrique, 25, will cost Liverpool in the region of £6million but he will fill a position with which they struggled last season.
"Liverpool FC confirmed that they had agreed a fee with Newcastle United for the transfer of Jose Enrique," said a club statement. "The club have now been given permission to discuss personal terms with the player, who will travel to Liverpool to undergo a medical."
Enrique joined the Magpies for £6.3million from Villarreal in August 2007 but was in the final year of his contract at St James' Park and had made it clear he would not be signing a new deal.
Providing there are no hitches to the move the defender will become Kenny Dalglish's fifth signing of the summer, following midfielders Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson and back-up goalkeeper Alexander Doni to Anfield.
The Reds boss was unsuccessful in his bid to try to sign Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy earlier in the summer, with the Frenchman opting to join Manchester City, but the Scot has been looking for a long-term solution to a position which has been a source of frustration for a number of seasons.
Former manager Rafael Benitez tried several options with varying degrees of success, with the injury-plagued Fabio Aurelio, inexperienced Emiliano Insua and the woeful Andrea Dossena all trying but failing to hold down a regular position.
His successor Roy Hodgson signed Paul Konchesky from Fulham when he arrived last summer but the player lasted only marginally longer than his manager. Hodgson was replaced in early January and by the end of the month Konchesky had been loaned out to Nottingham Forest and has since found a permanent home in the npower Championship at Leicester.
Dalglish's temporary fix was to give right-back Glen Johnson an unaccustomed role on the left and he performed well, with teenage reserve-team defender Jack Robinson filling in admirably when the England international was injured.
Aurelio, fitness-permitting, and Robinson seem likely to provide the back-up to Enrique which means Argentina international Emiliano Insua, who returned from a season-long loan at Galatasaray this summer, may have to find another club.