Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kuyt and Benayoun stay – Benitez

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez insists that Dirk Kuyt and Yossi Benayoun will not leave the club this summer.
Dutch forward Kuyt, 28, is a target for German club Hamburg while Benitez admits Roma are interested in midfielder Benayoun, also 28.
But Benitez, after meeting with both players on Thursday, said: "Neither of them will be leaving.
"I have no more news about Yossi - he will be staying. [And] I am really pleased with Kuyt. He will be staying."
It had been suggested that the Anfield boss would let both go in order to finance a deal for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry.
Liverpool have had a number of bids rejected for the England international, the latest of which was believed to be just short of Villa's £18m valuation.
But Benitez has made it clear he still considers Kuyt and Benayoun part of his plans.
"I have talked to Yossi and told him I want to keep him. He is a player with quality and has shown that during pre-season," he said.
"I also talked with Dirk Kuyt this morning. I am really pleased with him."
Liverpool signed Dutch international Kuyt from Feyenoord in August 2006 in a £10m deal while Israel's national captain Benayoun joined from West Ham in July 2007 for £5m.
At present Benitez seems no nearer to concluding a deal to bring Barry to Anfield, though Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill gave the green light to the deal - if the terms are right for Villa - at the weekend.

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