Rafa confirms: We’re skint

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Speaking at the unveiling of new full backs Andrea Dossena and Philipp Degen, Rafa Benitez has told the media what many Liverpool fans have long feared – that there is no money available to him this summer.

Instead, all purchases will have to be funded by player sales, something Benitez described as having to use a “little bit of imagination to progress in the market.”

It is a ridiculous situation that Benitez – and Liverpool as a club – finds themselves in, with owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett firmly being the reason for the lack of funds to take Liverpool where they promised.

If Liverpool are to progress and make a serious challenge for the title, they need to be adding to the quality in the squad, rather than swapping the quality. For instance, keeping Alonso and adding Gareth Barry. Not funding one with another. That is not how we should be working.

Benitez said “We know the situation regarding what we can spend, and we are trying to find solutions if we do not have enough money.

“And we will still try to sign players that will make us better. But if you do not have too much money, and that is clear, we will have to have a little bit of imagination to progress in the market.’

The key quote being “and that is clear” – clear that our two American owners are not investing a dollar into the club, despite promises to do so earlier this summer.

Yesterday Benitez had been quoted as having an interest in signing David Villa, but today has told that isn’t an option, hinting the lack of funds as the reason there. Instead Benitez must look to sell players to raise money to bid for Robbie Keane.

The sale of Xabi Alonso would bring in around £15m, while Peter Crouch will join Portsmouth for £10m on Friday – but with Gareth Barry expected to cost £17m, Benitez is left short still and will need to offload Scott Carson and Jermaine Pennant at least to raise the money for Keane.

Benitez did offer some hope by promising a new striker, or two: “We will have another main striker before the season starts, maybe two. The fans must trust us, we are working hard during the summer with a lot of people in different countries working for us.”

He also confirmed the arrival of back-up goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri for £3m from Palmeiras.

With Hicks and Gillett introducing a controversial new membership scheme this summer, and a rather hypocritical slogan to advertise the new shirt (‘It’s not a badge, it’s a family crest’), Liverpool fans’ strength of hatred towards them will long continue. See SOS statement here.