Murphy left out
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rafa Benitez has left Danny Murphy out of the squad for their UEFA Champions League qualifier as he looks to complete his move to Tottenham.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has left Danny Murphy out of the squad for their UEFA Champions League qualifier as he looks to complete his move to Tottenham, while he expects Steven Gerrard to be fit for the match.
The Reds have accepted a £3 million bid for Murphy from Spurs and he could seal a move to North London before the start of the season.
Benitez confirmed that Murphy was talking to Spurs about the move, and he could ironically line up against Liverpool on the opening day of the season.
"We talked with Danny about his possibilities," said Benitez.
"I told him I didn't think he'd play a lot of matches. He said he felt it would be better if he talked to other clubs.
"Danny will not be travelling. He is talking to Spurs."
Benitez is reportedly eyeing up a move for Real Sociedad's Spain international midfielder Xabi Alonso, while Steve Finnan could be moving to Blackburn on loan, but the Spaniard was remaining tight-lipped.
"This is not a good time to be talking about players. Murphy and Finnan are, at this moment, still with the club and we have no definite news on either."
Liverpool face Austrian Double winners AK Graz in their crucial qualifier, and Benitez hopes to have skipper Gerrard available.
Gerrard injured his thigh in America but club doctors have told the manager that he should be able to play in what he called a dangerous match.
"It's very, very dangerous," added Benitez.
"We don't have the competition level they have as they've already played some games and we have not.
"They also have an advantage as they have the same coach and players. We've changed things and have a new coach, new players and are learning how to play a different way."
Benitez knows that Liverpool must get into the Champions League proper in order for him to have the funds available for further signings.
|Grazer AK 12/5 Draw 9/4 Liverpool 10/11 - Click for full odds with Sky Bet |