Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has played down reports linking Wigan Athletic striker Emile Heskey with a return to Anfield when the transfer window reopens in January.
Reports on Friday had suggested that Benitez was considering an offer for the forward the Reds sold to Birmingham City four years ago. However, Benitez has refused to be drawn on the matter, with the former Valencia coach refusing to talk about another sides player, especially as the Latics are due to play Liverpool on Saturday.
Benitez said: "You know my idea is not to talk about players playing for another team, especially before a game, so I was surprised.”
30-year-old Heskey revealed on Friday that “a move to Liverpool would be lovely”, with the rejuvenated England International admitting that he would like to play in the Champions League and in turn boost his chances of playing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
However, Latics manager Steve Bruce is determined to keep Heskey at the JJB Stadium and has warned the big target-man that he will not get as many starts at the Merseyside club as he does at Wigan.
Heskey’s deal at the JJB runs out next summer and while Bruce will be reluctant to sell, with Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa also interested along Liverpool. The former Manchester United player is resigned to losing Heskey in January, where Heskey will command a fee, rather than let him leave Wigan for nothing next summer.