Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rafa to have no money for the transfer window

Rafa Benitez has resigned himself to a barren New Year in the transfer market – but the Liverpool boss insists he still has what it takes to rescue the Reds’ season.

Benitez will be told there is no money available for new signings – unless he can produce a miraculous Champions League recovery to guide Liverpool into the knock-out stages of Europe’s top club competition.

But he believes that Premier League salvation is still achievable without January recruits if he can keep his squad injury-free.

Benitez said: “If I have no money in the New Year it will not be a problem.

“My idea is to get all our players fit. With a full squad we have a very good team – as we showed last season when we scored a lot of goals, set some records and went very close. This season we have not just lost Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres with injuries.

“We have other players coming back. Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio and Albert Riera are back training and there is Alberto Aquilani and Nabil El Zhar.

“I will say this again – with everyone available we are not the bad team that some people think.

“The problem has been that we have important players missing and in some games we have been unlucky.”

Benitez has already held talks with managing director Christian Purslow (left) about the consequences of an early Champions League exit.

Circumstances will change if Purslow can bring in investors to work alongside owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

And Benitez admitted that five Premier League defeats and a losses to Lyon and Fiorentina have instigated the most stressful period of his five-year reign – even though Purslow has given him assurances that his job is safe this season.

Benitez added: “At Liverpool, this has been my most stressful time, but you have to carry on with your job.

“I have been working with Christian Purslow and I know the situation. Together we will work to find what is best for the club and best for the team.

“Not staying in the Champions League will not be a big problem financially because the budget was set only for the group stages. Anything after that would have been a bonus.

“Of course there will be problems if we are not in the Champions League next year – but I believe we will be.

“It is a question of winning one or two games in a row and everything will look different again.”

Gerrard (above) and Torres could feature against Birmingham tomorrow night – even though Benitez insists neither player will be fit for international duty this week.

England and Spain have prestige friendlies against Brazil and Argentina respectively.

Benitez has spoken to Spain’s medical staff and has received assurances from coach Vicente del Bosque that Torres will not be selected for a game taking place at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon Stadium.

The Liverpool boss has had no such contact with Fabio Capello.

But he said: “Gerrard may be available against Birmingham and the same is true – but neither is fit because they have missed so much training.

“Gerrard hasn’t trained properly for 15 days so what is the point in [England] taking him?

“Our doctor is in contact with England so they know the situation.

“All I will say is that I hope England show some common sense.”

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