Rafa hints at summer spending

With reports today that Barclays bank are about to finalise a deal to refinance the club, and thus eventually seeing Tom Hicks and George Gillett removed, Rafa Benitez has indicated his need for money to spend this summer.

The Reds boss has had a net spend of literally nothing in the last 4 transfer windows, having to raise his own funds via player sales.

”The cost of a top-class player is about £20 million. I think we need three,” he said.

”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 £60 million every year you have to sell.”

So £60m is required, and according to reports in The Sunday Times, the refinancing by Barclays will provide Benitez with transfer funds. Barclays are set to acquire the club, appoint Martin Broughton as chairman and instruct Barclays Capital to find a new buyer. It is likely they will come in and attempt to improve the club’s finances and stature further, making it more attractive to the eventual new owners, and thus being able to sell the club for more then £500m.

Meanwhile, Benitez has hinted at player sales, saying ”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.”

It is likely that Yossi Benayoun will be one of those departures, a player who can be sold for decent money in order to purchase new players. Other fringe players are likely to leave too. Substitute goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri is among them. Fabio Aurelio is yet to agree a new contract and is available on a free.

A Bosman signing of Milan Jovanovich has been agreed, subject to a work permit.