Benitez must fight to keep Alonso

24 June 2009 11:22
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez still faces a fight to keep hold of midfielder Xabi Alonso, with Real Madrid apparently reluctant to take no for an answer. The Reds boss has insisted he does not want to sell the Spain international - but with reports of a potential £30million offer looming, he may have to reconsider. Benitez has admitted he has the finance available for one more transfer until he can free up some more money by selling on players. "We have a plan. We can sign one more player if necessary, but that's without any players leaving," said the Liverpool boss. Alonso would not be on the manager's list of potential departures, because his partnership with Javier Mascherano - a transfer target for Barcelona - is integral to the way the team plays. But 27-year-old Alonso is one of Liverpool's most saleable assets and Benitez must weigh up what difference the cash from any deal with Madrid would make to his squad - who ran Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United very close last season. Benitez hopes to generate funds with the sales of Sebastien Leto and Andriy Voronin - both loaned out last season - left-back Andrea Dossena, who could return to Italy after just one season at Anfield, and possibly Alvaro Arbeloa. Arbeloa's position has come under threat from the £17million arrival of England right-back Glen Johnson from Portsmouth, that deal expected to be formally completed in the next couple of days. Benitez would be happy for the Spain defender to stay. But with Real's general manager Jorge Valdano expressing an interest, the quietly consistent defender may be offloaded. "Alvaro Arbeloa has had a very good season but he has one year left on his contract," Benitez told the Liverpool Echo. "If he signs that will be good because we will have more competition, but if we get a good offer we will have to consider it."

Source: Eurosport

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