Real Madrid striker to help improve Liverpool’s public relations

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The time for Brendan Rodgers to decide whether to cut his considerable losses on Mario Balotelli or stick with the misfiring Italian for the sure-to-be bumpy ride is fast approaching.

Judging by the number of rumours around who could replace the former Manchester City striker, it seems the Northern Irishman is leaning towards the former option, with the latest to be linked with Anfield capable of saving Rodgers’ bacon should he arrive at the 19/10 top four shots.

Karim Benzema has reportedly told Real Madrid he wants to quit the club, despite enjoying a superb campaign with Los Blancos to date.

The Frenchman has netted 11 goals and six assists in 17 games under Carlo Ancelotti, but is concerned that the defending Champions League victors do not view him as a long-term option, with the club’s pursuit of Luis Suarez last summer a particular thorn in Benzema’s side.

Such a revelation has alerted Liverpool, along with Arsenal, to his potential availability this January and capturing the 26-year-old could be quite the PR masterstroke from the under-fire manager.

Benzema would bring the confidence of a striker in form to Merseyside should he arrive this winter, having netted nine times in his last eight appearances for the La Liga giants.

Continuing that sort of streak in the Premier League could not only help obliterate the memory of Balotelli’s ill-fated stint with the Reds, but fire them back into top-four contention as well.

January would be Liverpool’s best chance of sealing a deal for the former Lyon youth, as if Rodgers plumps for letting Balotelli, who is yet to score in the top flight in 685 minutes, try and play his way back into form, a return to Uefa’s top table looks unlikely.

Having decorated his mantelpiece with honours during his time at the Bernabeu, Benzema won’t want to take a step down the ladder while he is approaching his prime and still first-choice for Madrid come the summer.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.