Benitez insists that in-demand Gonzalez will return to Anfield

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The Independent Football

Rafael Benitez has rejected several offers to make a quick profit on Chile international Mark Gonzalez this summer in order for the absent £4m winger to realise his potential with Liverpool.

The Liverpool manager signed Gonzalez from Albacete last summer only for the Home Office to deny the 21-year-old a work permit on the grounds that Chile were not among the top 70 in Fifa's world rankings. The midfielder also suffered a cruciate ligament injury before being loaned for the rest of the campaign to Real Sociedad, where he has confirmed his rehabilitation with five goals in 13 appearances and several outstanding performances.

Gonzalez' form has attracted interest from Real Zaragoza, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis, who have all enquired about his services for next season only to be informed that Liverpool, who hope Chile's elevation to 67 in the world rankings and the player's eligibility for a Spanish passport will produce a work permit, intend to complete the arduous transfer.

Last night Benitez said: "Three or four Spanish clubs have been asking about Gonzalez. I was in Madrid last week and I received two or three phone calls and all of them are talking about Mark. They want to buy or loan him depending on the power of the club but our idea is clear. We want the player here for next season."

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