Saturday, June 27, 2009

Arbeloa offered contract Extention

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez insists the signing of Glen Johnson does not necessarily mean Alvaro Arbeloa's days at Anfield are numbered.

England right-back Johnson, 24, completed his move from Portsmouth for a fee believed to be £17m although much of that will be offset by money still owed from Peter Crouch's transfer to Fratton Park last summer.

Johnson's arrival increases the likelihood of Arbeloa leaving this summer, with Real Madrid ready to make a move.

But Benitez has not ruled out the possibility of the 26-year-old staying.

''Arbeloa was a good player for us last year. He has one year left on his contract and we have offered him an extension and we're talking,'' Benitez told the club's website. ''He is our player but if there is a good offer we have to consider it.

''We have two or three clubs asking about him. He would like to stay but he knows the competition will be hard.''

Benitez has already accepted he paid over the odds for Johnson, but stressed there were many factors which made the deal the right one for the club.

After after a summer which has already seen the £59m transfer of Kaka - and the expected £80m move of Cristiano Ronaldo - to Real Madrid the Liverpool boss is happy with the outlay on his first signing of the summer.

''We knew the market was going to be difficult this summer and some of it has been crazy,'' said Benitez.

''Manchester City and Chelsea were there - they were making offers. We had to be quick and the club acted quickly.

''It was down to the player whether he chose us or City or Chelsea and he chose us. It was very clear from talking to him that he wanted to play for Liverpool.''

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