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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Thursday, 26 August 2010 16:06 UK

Rafael Benitez coy on targeting Liverpool players

Javier Mascherano and Rafael Benitez
Benitez (right) reportedly has his sights on a reunion with Mascherano

By Nigel Adderley
BBC Sport in Monaco

Inter Milan coach Rafael Benitez has distanced himself from reports linking his club with moves for Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt and Javier Mascherano.

Roy Hodgson, who succeeded Benitez as Liverpool boss this summer, claims the Spaniard signed an agreement that prevents him signing Reds players.

But Benitez says he plays no part in transfers at the Italian champions.

"I am the coach, the coach can't sign any player. It has to be the technical director or the chairman," he said.

Liverpool midfielder Mascherano has made it clear he wishes to leave the club and move to another country and the Anfield outfit have subsequently received an offer of about £12m from Barcelona which was rejected.

Newspaper reports suggested Inter had offered £20m for the Argentina captain, while also lining up a £14m move for Dutch forward Kuyt, both players whom Benitez bought while at Liverpool.

But Benitez, who is in Monaco for Inter's Super Cup match against Athletico Madrid on Friday night, denied any involvement in trying to take the players to Italy.

"I can guarantee you I am just focusing on training the team and trying to do my best on the pitch," said Benitez.


"I am the coach, we have a technical director and a chairman who have a very good relationship with Roy Hodgson so it's a problem for them."

"I'm trying to improve my Italian so it's easier for them to understand me. The organisation of the club is so big and as there is such a good relationship with Hodgson I don't need to be involved. I just try to do my best where I have an influence."

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see also
'Joke' Mascherano offer rejected
26 Aug 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool complete Konchesky move
31 Aug 10 |  Liverpool
Reds stand strong over Mascherano
19 Aug 10 |  Liverpool
Mascherano demands Liverpool exit
27 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez appointed Inter manager
10 Jun 10 |  Europe

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