Reds tracking Ibanez

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Liverpool have reportedly rekindled their interest in Atletico Madrid defender Pablo Ibanez, as manager Rafa Benitez sets about an overhaul of his Anfield squad.

Despite Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia covering themselves in glory during The Reds' successful march to UEFA Champions League glory, Benitez is said to be keen on bringing in a new centre half.

Real Zaragoza's impressive Argentina international Gabriel Milito is believed to be Benitez's number one target, but he is also assessing other options - with Ibanez a long-term target.

Benitez had been linked with a move for the talented defender when taking charge last year, but failed to push through with a bid during January's transfer window.

Ibanez improved his contract with Los Rojiblancos in February, extending his commitment until 2009, but he is rumoured to be mulling over his future after the club's form tailed off in the second half of the campaign.

Atletico cannot offer the defender European football next term and this could be a major plus point for The Reds, although Benitez may keep a watching brief until the transfer merry-go-round kicks into full swing.