Rafa hits out at Benfica
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Rafa Benitez has criticised Benfica over Simao Sabrosa's projected transfer.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has launched a broadside at Benfica for their handling of the projected transfer of Simao Sabrosa.
Ahead of the sides' UEFA Champions League clash on Tuesday, Benitez revealed that Simao was a long-term target for The Reds but the Portuguese outfit's prevarication proved it impossible to negotiate a transfer.
"Simao was an option for us in the summer but it did not happen," said Benitez.
"We also looked at the possibility of signing him again in the transfer window before deciding not to do anything at that time because it was an impossible situation.
"We had already spent a lot of time talking to Benfica and we didn't want to waste more time in January.
"We were interested in Simao but every time we thought we were getting there, Benfica's president would come back to us and ask for double. In the end it became impossible to deal with them."
Chelsea have now been linked with a move for Simao but Benitez suspects those rumours may be gamesmanship on the part of the Estadio La Luz outfit.
"I see that Chelsea are now interested but it seems as soon as another club talk about a player then Chelsea become involved," added Benitez.
"Maybe that is Benfica trying to get a good price."
Simao will be in direct opposition to The Reds on Tuesday and Benitez admits his one-time target has the potential to leave his side's Champions League hopes in tatters.
"Simao is a very good player. He has quality, pace and experience," added Benitez.
"It is important that we stop him hurting us but the problem we have is that if we concentrate on one player then Benfica have others who can be dangerous."