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Benitez hints at Crouch exit

08 May 2008 - 11:26:22

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has dropped his strongest hint yet that Peter Crouch will not be at Anfield at the start of next season.

The 27-year-old England striker has revealed his frustration at a lack of starting opportunities this season.

Crouch has started just 21 games in all competitions and has been linked with an £8million summer switch to Portsmouth and Newcastle United.

Now Benitez has added fuel to the fire by suggesting he will not stand in the way of the former Southampton and Aston Villa striker should he decide to quit Anfield.

"I was talking with him the other day and the conversation was positive," the Spaniard told the Liverpool Post. "But we need to do what is best for him and best for us.

"He has one year on his contract. We know some clubs are asking about him but we need to wait and then do the best for him and for us."

Speaking earlier in the week, Crouch suggested his time on Merseyside was coming towards a close.

He said: "When all is said and done, I don't think I can have another season like this year where I've started nine Premier League games.

"Out of a 38-game league season, nine games is not the amount you want to be playing.

"I'll have to speak to the manager and see what his plans are. I need to see him and sort things out.

"I have to find out what he wants from me next season and whether or not I can continue with that. In some ways, I want to feel wanted."


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