Rafa Benitez names three players he tried to sign for Liverpool

The former Liverpool boss was a guest on the We are Liverpool podcast.

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Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has named three major players he missed out on bringing to Anfield during his tenure.

The former Champions League winning manager was a guest on the We Are Liverpool podcast this week and spoke about his six years as the Liverpool manager from 2004 until 2010.

Benitez said financial restrictions were a main factor in his failure to get several signings over the line.

Benitez chose to sign to sign Dirk Kuyt over Dani Alves.

“I was looking for a right winger, and (Kuyt) could play as a winger (or) a second striker. I had a friend of mine who told me about his work rate and that he could play in different positions.

“We didn’t have the money. We had Dani Alves, who was around £10 million, but he was a right full-back.

Benitez continued:

“Then you have to make a decision on either a player who can play as a striker, a second striker and right winger, or you go for a right full-back, Brazilian, playing in Spain, that you have to play as a right winger. It’s a big risk.

“Everybody knows that when Hicks and Gillett were here, we were under massive economical pressure.

Stevan Jovetic:

“I wanted to sign (Stevan) Jovetic. He was playing for Fiorentina and the price was £16m.

“In my head, with my budget, I had the money. And then when I went to sign him I was told ‘no, you don’t have the money’.

“Then we played against Fiorentina, we lost 2-0, Jovetic scored two goals. This was the player that I wanted.

“These are the kind of things that fans don’t know. As a manager, you have to make decisions depending on the money available.”

Benitez also spoke about his attempt to sign Juanfran when bringing Michael Owen back to Liverpool.“I had to try to get the best deal for my football club.

“I was talking with Real because I knew Real Madrid quite well, and I was talking with a friend of mine, who was a journalist close to the president, to give me information about what they were thinking. And I knew 100 percent that they would do the deal.

“So I said to Rick Parry: ‘Rick, we have to do this price, and try to get this young player Juanfran in the deal’.

“Juanfran was playing for Real Madrid’s B team, and went on to play for Atletico Madrid as a right full-back and right winger. We needed a right winger.

“They said no, and then they put (Antonio) Nunez in the deal. We got Nunez, who was injured (a lot) and was maybe not the best signing, but I was trying to bring someone else to improve the deal for us, because it was done, it was just a question of how much.”




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