Benitez: Xabi’s here to stay

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Rafa Benitez says midfielder Xabi Alonso is part of his long-term plans and part of the core of his first team, dismissing speculation linking the Spanish international with a move to Real Madrid.

Benitez says transfer speculation regarding the Reds’ transfer policy this summer is already getting out of control, after Real were linked with a £23million bid for Alonso.

“It’s very clear, Xabi has three years left and we do not want to sell him,” said Benitez.

“When you know your targets then you read things you can say, ‘they have no idea’.

“I don’t waste too much time on this. We have already had about 90 Spanish players linked with us. Today there were three names we do not even know.

“We have some money, not big money. But for me now it is not about how much, but how good they are for us.”

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