Rival factions back Benitez's shopping list

His club's future remains shrouded in much financial uncertainty but Rafael Benitez suggested yesterday that the rival factions who still control it had agreed on the list of players he can pursue this summer.

A meeting at Melwood on Wednesday between Benitez, Tom Hicks and his son, Tom jnr, established transfer targets, even though the meeting did not include the chief executive, Rick Parry, and the 50 per cent co-owner, George Gillett.

The idea of such a discussion being convened without Parry present seems a bizarre one and reflects the crisis at a club which seems likely to be taken over by Dubai International Capital within the next two weeks. But Benitez was adamant that Hicks and the pro DIC element (Parry and Gillett) all "know the names [of targets] and how to progress".

Repeating the words "everyone knows" several times to underline a sense of mutual agreement, Benitez said: "It was very positive. We spoke about some targets and everybody now knows the names, about the price and how to progress, so it was positive. They all know now."

The names on Benitez's list are believed to include Philipp Degen, the Borussia Dortmund defender available under the Bosman ruling, Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and Blackburn's David Bentley.

But Benitez said that Liverpool were not looking to break the bank with the kind of big money signing which brought Fernando Torres to Anfield last summer. He said: "We won't need too much. Our squad is much better now and we maybe need four or five players. But we will not need to spend big, big money. It's all about doing the deals at the right moment."

The sense of harmony over who Benitez might buy is highly unexpected, coming two weeks after the furious public row in which Hicks tried to manoeuvre Parry out, in part by implicating him in the issue of the talks held with Jürgen Klinsmann over Benitez's job, before Christmas. Yesterday's disclosures provide the clearest sense yet that Benitez is ready to stay at the club during the probable handover of power which threatens to be another challenging period for the club.

Though Torres has been a revelation Benitez pointed to the unpredictability of big money signings. "If you want to win the title, you must spend millions and millions," Benitez said. "It is not easy, so the key is maybe to sign the players that you need and the players that will make the squad stronger. Then you have to try to progress with those players. How much have Chelsea spent in the last five years? If you want to go to that level, you need to spend millions and millions, but nobody can guarantee that players costing £20m will settle down.

"If you need to write on a piece of paper, I could give you the best pen in the world. But maybe you don't need that pen for the paper."

Benitez did not say which players might be on their way out of Anfield this summer but indicated that Scott Carson (Aston Villa) and Danny Guthrie (Bolton Wanderers) may return from loan spells.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat