Rafa wanted Frenchmen at Valencia

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Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has admitted that Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec were transfer targets during his time at Valencia.

Whilst Le Tallec is at St Etienne on a season-long loan, Sinama-Pongolle is likely to be in the starting line-up for the Carling Cup tie against Middlesbrough.

"We tried to sign Sinama and Le Tallec for Valencia," the Spaniard told Liverpool's official website.

"My scout said that he had seen two very good players - but Liverpool paid a lot of money for them so it came to nothing.

"We knew Le Tallec was the best player in the Under-17 World Cup, and Sinama was the top scorer."

Despite their lack of first-team action, Benitez believes the French youngsters have a bright future at Liverpool.

"There's definitely the potential there - they are both good players," continued Benitez.

"They need to play at this level and then they will get more confidence."