Liverpool gaffer insists on Alonso stay

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has squashed all rumours linking Spanish star Xabi Alonso with a move to FC Barcelona. The Liverpool gaffer is quoted as saying that he is not all bothered about the speculation on Alonso’s future at the end of the season and insists that although Alonso has been struggling for games of late, he is still a vital piece of the Liverpool jigsaw.

Benitez says:

When you have a big squad, it is impossible to play every game. But Xabi is a key player for us, with quality, and he must compete for his position.

I was talking with his agent this week, I have also heard the rumours about him going somewhere else. But he is a player we want for us, for our future.

He must compete for his place. We have four midfielders and it is a position I like to be in.

He has re-signed a new, long, contract only recently. It is a good contract and he is important for us now and for the future.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are thought to be lining up a bid with Barca expected to announce a formal bid in the summer. Alonso though hasn’t made any remark on the speculation and is thought to be happy at Anfield at the moment. Yet for a player with as much class and quality as Xabi Alonso, it is indeed a step back to warm the bench most of the time.

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