Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier has revealed that he is to have talks with his Auxerre counterpart Guy Roux, as he steps up his interest in signing striker Djibril Cisse and defender Jean Alain Boumsong.

Houllier has been following both players' progress for some time now and is believed to be preparing a double swoop that would see them join the Anfield club in time for the start of next season.

The Liverpool boss revealed, "We will have a meeting with Auxerre at the end of the month. I will be speaking to Guy Roux. Rick Parry, the board and I are aware of the need for fresh blood but at the same time we have a good nucleus of the team."

The Reds are also believed to be close to agreeing a deal for Fulham and Irish defender Steve Finnan, as they seek to rebuild and put the disappointment of missing out on the Champions League behind them.Houllier said "We have had an average season, we have underachieved.

Now the time has come for us not to buy potential, we need proven talent. And we need to add flair and creativity, particularly in the area of link between midfield and strikers. If the club gives me money, I'd be glad to use it in this area."

Filed by Rob Wright