Liverpool must sell to buy
RAFA Benitez has revealed he must sell players to satisfy his transfer needs at Liverpool this summer but believes there will be no repeat of the protracted moves that thwarted his pursuit of Gareth Barry last year.
RAFA Benitez has revealed he must sell players to satisfy his transfer needs at Liverpool this summer but believes there will be no repeat of the protracted moves that thwarted his pursuit of Gareth Barry last year. (Guardian)
The Aston Villa midfielder remains on the wanted list of a Liverpool manager who will have about �20m-�30m to spend at the end of this season plus whatever he can generate through player sales.
The Valencia pair of David Silva and Ra�l Albiol interest Ben�tez, although he said the former was out of Liverpool's price range, while the Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson has been linked with a move to Anfield.
Under the terms of his contract Ben�tez must receive permission from the club's owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to conclude signings. To secure all his targets the Spaniard will again have to inflate his budget by off-loading players, as was the case last summer when he tried to sell Xabi Alonso to Juventus to fund a deal for Barry, only for Villa's �18m valuation and anger over Ben�tez's public approach to stifle Liverpool's interest.
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“Every single year it is important to sign good players, the right players. This year will be the same,” said the Liverpool manager.
“We know we have better players and it will be more difficult to find better players than we have now. But still we have to do it. We are working very hard during the whole season, looking and watching players. I think that we will be ready. We are working on targets and we will try to do things as quickly as possible and as cheap as possible.”
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Asked if he knew how much he had to spend, Ben�tez responded: “More or less I have an idea. Clearly we have to work hard and maybe we need to sell someone.”
The Dutch international, Ryan Babel, is likely be sold as Alonso has responded to last summer's auction with an excellent campaign. Babel, an �11.5m recruit from Ajax in 2007, has 13 starts in all competitions this season and made little progress in the wide left role that Ben�tez had envisaged for him.
Other possible departures include the Italian left-back Andrea Dossena and Daniel Agger. The Danish international has not reached agreement over a contract extension at Anfield and his exit would prompt a move for the Valencia defender Albiol.
Ben�tez said he was confident the defender would extend his career with Liverpool and may also look to sell Andriy Voronin after being adamant the Ukrainian striker will not extend his loan spell with Hertha Berlin for another season. Liverpool are still awaiting a firm offer from the German club for Voronin.
Jermaine Pennant is also expected to leave Anfield at the end of this season, but is available on a free transfer.