Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is understood to be weighing up a bid for England International Emile Heskey at Wigan Athletic in the January transfer window. With the Merseyside club to join Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa in the race for the signature of the forward, according to reports.
30-year-old Heskey is a former Reds player, having spent four years at Anfield after a then record £11million transfer from Leicester City in 2000. Ironically Heskey was considered surplus to requirements at Liverpool on the arrival of Benitez in 2004 from Valencia and was sold to Birmingham City.
However, Heskey has been in such good form for the Latics that he has pushed himself back into the England fold and has been a regular starter for new England boss Fabio Capello. England have benefited from Heskey’s unselfish displays and top their World Cup qualifying group, with Wigan manager Steve Bruce resigned to losing the big target-man in January should the big clubs come calling.
Heskey revealed yesterday his desire to play in the Champions League, with Liverpool able to provide that stage for the striker unlike Villa and Spurs. Benitez is also a big admirer of team players as shown with the signings of Robbie Keane and Dirk Kuyt, with the Spaniard short on experienced forwards at Anfield, Benitez is ready to make a move for Heskey in January, according to The Sun and The Daily Mail.
While Bruce will be reluctant to let Heskey leave the JJB Stadium, the former Manchester United player might have little choice, with Heskey’s deal at Wigan running out at the end of the season, Wigan should decide to cash in on the interest in January, rather than let the striker leave on a free transfer next summer.