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Benitez: Liverpool may break transfer record

May 20, 2009

Rafael Benitez has said he may well break the club's transfer record again this summer. In the last two summers, the Liverpool boss has spent £20m-plus on first Fernando Torres and then Robbie Keane.

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And although Benitez is believed to have been given only £20m by the club's American owners for a transfer spree - any more will have to come from sales - the Spaniard is planning purchases at both ends of the financial scale.

Linked again with Carlos Tevez this week - a move that has been talked about at Anfield now for some while - the club say they have not made a bid to the players' third party owners.

But Benitez is known to be keen to pair Tevez again with his compatriot Javier Mascherano, the Argentina stars joining West Ham together back in August 2006.

However, he said: ''We may well break our transfer record, but certainly not Manchester United's. But it does not matter about the prices, it is doing the right thing and finding the right players.''

But having all but assured themselves of runners-up spot in the Premier League now behind champions Manchester United, Benitez knows he has to work carefully in the transfer market this summer to maximise the funds he has been given, or can generate.

He said: ''The next step is to overcome Manchester United, and that is the hardest. It does all come down to the money they have been able to spend, that is the difference.

''If we want to reduce this gap we have to be really good in the transfer market this summer. That can be the difference between winning the two or three extra points that we would need to win the title.

''We do not have that sort of money, so we have to be cute and clever in the market. Then it does not matter if you have money or not.

''When you have a lot of money it is easier because nobody notices your mistakes. For us it is important to find good targets to buy and make ourselves successful.

''We have learned a lot about our squad this season, we know each player that little bit better and it means we can improve for next season.''

He added: ''The fact that we have won nine of our last 10 games and not won the title just shows the high level of the Premier League.

''This season we have managed very good performances against the top sides, something we had not been doing before and now we have to improve a little bit more.

''We have 83 points and that would have been enough to win the title on six other occasions since the Premier League started. I can only underline that I am pleased and proud of my team to have gone this close.''

Benitez has started to generate cash from his squad by agreeing a £1m fee for defender Jack Hobbs to stay at Leicester, where he has helped them to promotion from League One. Winger Paul Anderson will also join Swansea for a fee of around £750,000.

Xabi Alonso is being linked with a £22m move to Real Madrid, while Ryan Babel could also be sold. Striker Andriy Voronin is also expected to be moved on.