Benitez poaches the new Messi

Updated on Oct 01, 2007 10:22 PM IST

Liverpool have pulled off a major signing coup by poaching Argentine-born football prodigy Gerardo Bruna from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

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AFP | By, Madrid

Liverpool have pulled off a major signing coup by poaching Argentine-born football prodigy Gerardo Bruna from Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to reports Saturday.

According to AS sports daily Bruna, 16, who had played for Real Madrid's junior side and was considered one of their hottest talents, has signed a three-year contract with the English club coached by Spaniard Rafael Benitez.

Benitez reportedly offered Bruna the chance to train with the Reds' first team while playing competitively for the Liverpool reserves.

"That was an offer I just couldn't refuse," Bruna told the paper.

Liverpool took advantage of Real Madrid's delay in signing a new contract with the young midfielder, who has been compared to the Argentine star Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

Bruna arrived in Spain from his native Argentina at a young age, and has yet to decide which country he wants to represent.

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