Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has admitted that Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Anthony Le Tallec were transfer targets when he was coach at Valencia.

Le Tallec is at St Etienne on a season-long loan, while 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.”

“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.”