Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez insists he is not looking to sell midfielder Xabi Alonso.
Spanish midfielder unlikely to make Juventus move
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez insists he is not looking to sell Xabi Alonso in order to raise the necessary funds to sign Gareth Barry.
Benitez has conducted a summer-long hunt of £18million-rated Villa midfielder Barry, but it was believed the pursuit had come to an end when the Reds failed to meet a recent deadline for the deal.
However, Villa boss Martin O'Neill has confessed Barry could still leave and that it is up to Liverpool to meet the set asking price.
It has been suggested Benitez is considering off-loading Alonso to Juventus in a fundraising exercise, but the Anfield boss is not keen to see the Spanish midfielder leave.
When asked if he is looking to sell Alonso, Benitez said: "It's simple. He is a very good player who is playing for us and I am really pleased with that."
It appears even more unlikely that Alonso will be moving to Juventus after the Serie A club's manager Claudio Ranieri ruled out interest in the 26-year-old.
"No," Ranieri replied when asked if he was looking to sign Alonso. "Not at all."
Meanwhile, Benitez is adamant that ending Liverpool's 18-year wait for a league title is not his number one priority.
"Everything is important," he said. "Europe is important, the Premier League is important, the FA Cup and the Carling Cup, so we will try to win every trophy and you never know.
"We will try to win from the first game and then see the situation. We started really well and finished really well last season.
"Clearly we have confidence in ourselves and have the quality to try to win every game but you never know what can happen in any competition.
"If we can do the same this time then hopefully we will be better in the middle of the season. But we will be working really hard to be as competitive as we can."