Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rafa admits to no more transfer funds

Rafa Benitez's hopes of challenging Manchester United to end Liverpool's 19-year wait for a title seem to have been extinguished already after he was told last week that the remainder of his transfer budget for the summer would be £2million - a revelation which seems to have prompted the highly-charged midweek atmosphere at Melwood and the reports that the manager was poised to quit.

Benitez, whose relationship with owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett has been strained since they took over the club, denied that but admitted yesterday that following the signing of AEK Athens defender Sotirios Krygiakos for a fee said to be close to £2m, that his spending looked to be over for now.

'I don't think there will be more,' he said.
Given that the reported £18.5m fee for Glen Johnson amounted to little more than £10m, once money Portsmouth still owed for Peter Crouch had been taken into account, and the £20m fee for Roma's Alberto Aquliani was offset by the £30m received for Xabi Alonso, Benitez in effect has had no additional transfer funds.
It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that Hicks and Gillett's debt has scuppered any chance of building on last year's second-place finish.

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