Benitez blocked Yossi move

Sparktak Moscow general director Valery Karpin admits the Russians were frustrated when Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez insisted Israeli international Yossi Benayoun was not for sale in the recent January transfer window.

After a low number of appearances during the first half of the season, Benayoun looked to be on his way out of Anfield at the turn of the year.

But Benitez kept his faith with the winger and convinced him to stay at the club. Since then Benayoun has netted vital goals for Liverpool’s title and European aspirations, even winning the This Is Anfield player of the month award for February.

“Benayoun was our prime target in the winter transfer window,” revealed Karpin.

“We needed a creative attacking midfielder of his calibre in our squad. He was ready to come and play for Spartak but in the end Benitez did not let him leave Liverpool.”

The 28-year-old is current out of action with a hamstring injury. He is expected to be back next week.