Liverpool FC have agreed terms with Valencia CF to sign the 20-year-old Mali midfield player Mohamed Sissoko.
The 20-year-old Mali international, who was signed by Benítez while he was coach of Valencia in 2003, was born in France and started his career at AJ Auxerre but has spent the past two years at Valencia, starting 15 games last season.
Sissoko was also a member of the triumphant Valencia squad that completed a UEFA Cup and Primera División double in 2003/04. The UEFA Champions League winners announced on Saturday that Sissoko must pass a medical before completing the move, but Benítez is already looking forward to linking up with the youngster.
"He's a young central midfielder who plays a high-energy game with a high tempo," Benítez said. "He's young, he's not bad on the ball and he will improve the balance of our team. He's had two good years with Valencia where he has won trophies. I know him well and he's a very good player."
The news was announced as Liverpool warmed up for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie against Total Network Solutions FC with a 4-3 victory against Wrexham FC. Fernando Morientes and Milan Baroš both scored twice for Liverpool who gave debuts to new signings José Manuel Reina and Boudewijn Zenden.