transfer talk

Benitez insists Alonso is still part of his plans

May 22, 2009

Rafael Benitez has moved to cool speculation that Xabi Alonso is leaving Liverpool.

The Liverpool manager has reacted to suggestions that the Spanish midfielder will play his last game for the club on Sunday at home to Tottenham before moving on.

Claims that Real Madrid will bid for Alonso should Florentino Perez win the club's presidential election next month have prompted fears that Alonso will be sold for £20m-plus to help fund Benitez's transfer targets.

This opinion was fuelled when Benitez pulled out of his weekly media conference at short notice.

But Benitez has now said: "It's very clear, Xabi has three years left and we do not want to sell him.''

Benitez has also hit out at frenzied transfer speculation around the club.

He said: "When you know your targets then you read things you can say, 'they have no idea'.

"I don't waste too much time on this. We have already had about 90 Spanish players linked with us. Today there were three names we do not even know.

"We have some money, not big money. But for me now it is not about how much, but how good they are for us.''