Rafa wants £60m for summer signings

The Reds were expected to make a concerted bid for the title this

season but have endured a painfully below-par campaign that finds

them in sixth place and 19 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Benitez believes the club must buy at least three new players in

the summer to reinvigorate his squad and admits he will need to

sell some of his squad to fund their arrival. “The cost of a

top-class player is about £20million. I think we need three,”

he said. “We want to keep the spine of the team. But sometimes you

have to manage and you have to sell two or three players who aren’t

playing many games. “I think we can improve but it depends if we

can do the right signings and it is always easier to sign more

players with more money. “It’s not easy for us to compete for

players. We have to do almost everything perfectly. “People can

talk about this player and that player but they have to blend in

because if you don’t have £60million every year you have to

sell.” Benitez believes the lack of depth in his squad has cost

them dear this season. The Spaniard’s only major purchase last

summer was the £20million he spent on Alberto Aquilani, who

has struggled with injury since arriving at Anfield, and he admits

he needs more star players in his squad. “Look at other teams, they

have plenty of players worth £20million who are not playing,

but they manage because of the squad,” he said. “Last year we tried

to keep players and extend contracts and to add some players. It

depends on the money available but the key is if you don’t have too

much money then don’t make mistakes. “Sometimes you bring someone

who needs to settle down or they have a problem – this year we had

a problem with Alberto Aquilani and his ankle – so you cannot

guarantee anything.”