Saturday 6th August 2005


Mark Gonzales, who was set to become Rafa's sixth transfer of the summer, has had his work permit turned down by the Department of Employment.

The youngster, one of the brightest stars to come out of Chile, had his permit turned down because his country are 72nd in the world rankings. They need to be at least 70th in the FIFA chart.

Rafa was shocked at the decision:

"He's a player we have scouted for over six months. I can tell the Liverpool fans who don't know too much about him that he's a player with lots and lots of ability," Benitez told the club's website.

"He is very fast, good in the air, good at crosses and he can score goals. In fact, he is the best player in Chile. We have had reports on the player from our own scouts, professional players, former players and other managers and they all say the same - that he is a very good player for now and even better for the future.

"We haven't been awarded a work permit though and I was very surprised to say the least.

"We must now wait because one of the problems is that his national team are not ranked in Fifa's top 70. If they win a couple of games, maybe they will move up the Fifa rankings and things may change.

"Gonzalez is already a player who will shine in the Premiership but very soon he could be one of the most exciting players in England."

The reds will be hoping Chile improve their rankings and may make a renewed work permit bid in the New Year.


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News report filed by The Editor