Liverpool play down Van Nistelrooy speculation

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Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has dismissed speculation linking him with a January move to sign Real Madrid's Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The 33-year-old enjoyed success in England with Manchester United, but Benitez has ruled out plotting a return for the veteran frontman.

He said: "I don't want to talk about individual players or names, but we are not trying for Ruud van Nistelrooy, so that will be very difficult to bring him in.

"We are working hard on getting some players in and have had some good talks, but my priority now is talking about good things with my players."

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola has warned Zlatan Ibrahimovic to watch his temper, after the striker came close to being red-carded in the 1-1 draw with Villarreal.

Ibrahimovic was booked late on in the game at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening for a rash challenge on Diego Godin, having enjoyed a fractious relationship with referee Vasquez for much of the game.

Guardiola said afterwards: “He is passionate, but he should be careful, because we may end up with ten players one day.

“Ibrahimovic needs to be strong and he is capable of doing it as he's a great player. He can't control the referee’s decisions.”

Sweden international Ibrahimovic, 28, has made a stunning start to life with Barca, following his summer arrival from Internazionale, scoring 12 goals in 20 league and European appearances for the Catalan giants.