Rafael Benitez may have to sell Ryan Babel to land David Silva and Gareth Barry

27 April 2009 10:01
Benitez is believed to have been promised a kitty of about £20 million by Liverpool's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, but such a sum is likely to be dwarfed by Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Liverpool manager will seek to strengthen his squad with as many as four first-team arrivals but is likely to have to trim his squad to boost his coffers. Ryan Babel and Andrea Dossena, as well Sami Hyypia, Philipp Degen and on-loan striker Andriy Voronin, could all be sacrificed.

 Related ArticlesRafael Benitez linked to Spurs Robbie KeaneLiverpool wide of the mark, warns Alan HansenTottenham have battle to keep Robbie KeaneRafael Benitez heads for busy summer of rebuilding at LiverpoolAlonso wants to stay as Liverpool plan changesBenitez said: 'More or less I have an idea of how much we will have to spend. I think we'd have to sell players to increase the money we'll need, but at the moment we're not talking about names and money. We are working on targets and we will try to do things as quickly and cheaply as possible.

'Every year it is important to sign good players, the right players. We know we have better players than before and it will be difficult to find better players than we have now. But we are working very hard during the season, looking for and watching players. We will be ready.'

Benitez is likely to return to Aston Villa with a second bid for Gareth Barry after failing to land him last summer, while Valencia centre-back Raul Albiol would replace Daniel Agger should the Dane not sign a new contract. Despite Benitez's denials, the Spain international David Silva remains a possibility should cash-strapped Valencia accept a price well below the £30 million they are believed to want.

While the lack of funds is likely to price Benitez out of any move for Carlos Tevez, he is believed to be tracking Portsmouth's Glen Johnson and Tottenham's Aaron Lennon.

The appointment of a successor to outgoing chief executive Rick Parry, meanwhile, has moved a step closer after co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett appointed headhunters to lead the search.

Simon Cummins, head of the sports practice at London-based recruitment consultants Odgers Berndtson, will be responsible for compiling a long-list of candidates for the job, which falls vacant at the end of the season.

Odgers have worked extensively in sport, recently recruiting Andy Anson to lead England's 2018 World Cup bid and working with the ECB on the appointment of Andy Flower.

Cummins was selected from a shortlist of UK-based companies after being interviewed by both Hicks and GIllett. The joint role played by the co-owners in recruiting Parry's successor is an indication that the pair are working more closely than was the case earlier in the season.

They want a world-class candidate capable of representing the club and helping extend Liverpool's commercial reach, though their ability to work with Benitez will be as important.

Parry was left with no option but to leave after he lost the support of both Benitez and Hicks.


Source: Telegraph