'Crazy' money frustrates Benitez

Rafael Benitez unveiled new boy Glen Johnson today and took a swipe at Manchester City with their "money, money, money" approach to the transfer market.

The Liverpool boss has spent £17m on the England full-back, a large chunk of which is wiped out by the cash Portsmouth still owe the Anfield club from the Peter Crouch deal.

And while Benitez played hardball with Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano over their long-term futures, he accepts that the market was now "crazy" and dominated by money.

He even admitted that he had tried again to sign Gareth Barry this summer from Aston Villa, but he eventually went to City.

Benitez said: "We had to pay big money, the market is now crazy. It is all money, money, money now. But we were signing a good player, an England player, and that is very positive.

"He has a good mentality, and when I spoke to him first it was clear he wanted to come here.

"Things have changed. You have to adapt to a situation. Manchester City and big clubs in Europe are spending big money, so the market has changed and we have to work harder.

"You have to do that to stay at the level we are at because of the big money being spent here and abroad."

City also wanted Johnson, but Benitez said: "It was difficult, some clubs are offering big money. But he wanted to come here, that was the difference.

"We did go back again for Barry, but as I said. it is all about money, money, money. It is as simple as that."

On City's influence on the market and their prospects for next term, Benitez added: "City have signed a lot of good players, but that is no guarantee they will win anything. But it will be interesting to see what happens next season.

"But whatever happens, experience is more important and we feel that we have that to be in the top positions.

"If you spend big it is always easier to perform well. But when you have a good understanding between players that is also important. If they are together, they work hard, that is just as important."

Benitez has also had to contend with a summer of transfer speculation over Alonso, wanted by Real Madrid, and Mascherano, a target for European champions Barcelona.

But although it is believed both players are being swayed by the advances of the Spanish club, Benitez made it clear that he does not want to sell and would like some loyalty shown by the pair.

He said: "I do not think Alonso or Mascherano will go. It is clear that they both are under contract with long-term agreements. That is it.

"There has been a lot of things written, a lot of rumours, but both players are under contract and we have no more need to talk about things.

"They are both very good players and I will be very pleased to keep them. They both have very good contracts.

"We signed them both from different situations. Alonso was coming from Real Sociedad and nobody had really heard much of him outside of Spain, he did well and we renewed his contract because of that.

"Mascherano came from West Ham where he had not been doing well. We brought him here and gave him a good contract, so we are very pleased with them both and that Liverpool has been very good to them."

Benitez also dismissed rumours that full back Fabio Aurelio will be out for six months with a knee injury.

He said: "One, maybe two months, I expect him back by then. Certainly not six."

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit