Benitez hopes to retain Babel

As Rafael Benitez downgrades his summer transfer targets, Ryan Babel has made it clear he does not want to leave Anfield while two Spanish youngsters have been linked with the club as part of a reported possible deal to take Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.

Increased financial restraints suggest the Liverpool boss is now looking at a different level of players to bring to Merseyside.

And he has also intimated Babel still has a future at Liverpool, despite claims earlier in the summer the Dutch winger would be allowed to speak to other clubs.

Babel, who now has confirmation Holland will be taking part in next summer's World Cup finals after recent qualifying results, is seemingly a player Benitez wants to retain rather than sell to raise transfer market cash.

And there are again claims from Spain that once new Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has turned his attentions from signing Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo, Alonso will once again be a target.

Perez has made no secret of his desire to sign Alonso, and although he yesterday admitted such a move would be difficult, it did not stop the wily operator from naming him in his dream Real Madrid XI.

Sources in Spain are now suggesting two Real youngsters could be part of a deal to take Alonso to the Bernabeu, despite Benitez's continued insistence the player is not for sale, and has three years left on his contract.

But if Alonso, currently on Confederation Cup duty with Spain, intimates he wants to become involved in a second wave of Galactico signings in Madrid, then Benitez may have to consider the best deal for Liverpool.

Benitez would want big money for Alonso, approaching £30million, but Spanish sports paper AS claim that strikers Alvaro Negredo and Alberto Bueno could be included in any deal.

Negredo, 23, has spent the last two years on loan at Almeria, and scored 19 goals last season. Under his current deal Real Madrid own 50 per cent of any possible deal for the player and they also have a buy-back option.

He said: "My future depends on Real Madrid, but I believe that this summer it is logical that I am interested in playing in the Premier League and especially Liverpool.

"I believe that playing in England would be a great chance for me as this league is a sensational place for forwards."

Bueno is considered to be a star of the future. The 21-year-old was the tournament's top scorer in the 2006 Under -19 European Championship.

And prior to making his first-team debut in the Spanish Cup last season, he had scored 37 goals in 37 games for Castilla, the club's reserve team.

Further confirmation Benitez has lowered his sights in the market came earlier this week when he talked of "one or two new signings" rather than the half-a-dozen big names that have been linked with the club.

And Benitez pointedly included Babel's name in a list of young players he felt would be important next season.

Benitez said: "Hopefully Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will play alongside each other more next season, and we also have good young players like David Ngog, Nabil El Zhar, Ryan Babel and Emiliano Insua coming through."

Babel's agent Winnie Haatrecht has made it clear the player does not want to leave Anfield.

He said: "Ryan is very happy at Liverpool and clearly doesn't want to leave. He still has a three-year contract."

Babel has been an impact player from the bench at Liverpool, and carried out a similar role for Holland yesterday when the Dutch celebrated qualification for South Africa with a 2-0 win over Norway.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments