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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Real deny trying to lure Benitez
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005
Real Madrid have denied Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez's claim that he was approached to become their manager.

Reports suggested Benitez was ahead of Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho on the Spanish giant's list of targets.

And Benitez claimed: "I said no to Real. Madrid may be my town but I'm happy here at Liverpool."

But Real said: "Real Madrid wish to deny any negotiations with Benitez, or any other, concerning his possible incorporation to the club next season."

Benitez turned down an offer from the Bernabeu club last summer and the Spaniard has consistently been linked to the club where he has played and coached.

606: DEBATE
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He even claimed that in Real's latest offer "they offered me more money than I get here, even though there maybe were greater expectations".

The latest development follows Real publicly denying media reports in Spain last week that coach Fabio Capello was planning to leave the club this month.

However, Real's statement on Wednesday added: "Real Madrid are counting on prestigious coach Fabio Capello, who still has two years remaining on his three-year contract."

Benitez is keen to stay at Anfield to help the club prosper under new American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

This is a project, it is my club, my team, my players and the fans are always behind us

Rafael Benitez

"We want to stay because of the new ideas and the new owners are very exciting," added Benitez.

"It was not a difficult decision. I have an objective here, I explained that when I spoke to the new owners and they told me they would be supportive.

"I do not like to talk about my family but they are really happy here at Liverpool and I am prepared to have my daughter with a Scouse accent, even though it is sometimes a problem for me!

"I want to make it clear that I said no to a good offer. That is because we are happy, it is not a question of money.

"This is a project, it is my club, my team, my players and the fans are always behind us. I am really happy here for all these things together."

Liverpool opened talks over new deals for Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso, Jose Reina and Luis Garcia a couple of weeks ago.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard
Gerrard is one of the players discussing new deals at Anfield

Discussions are ongoing but Benitez insists he wants speculation about any deals to stop so Liverpool can focus on their Champions League campaign.

Liverpool play Chelsea in the first leg of their semi-final in Europe's elite competition at Stamford Bridge on 25 April.

"I do not want to talk anymore about the players' contract discussions," stated Benitez.

"I wanted us to show them I had confidence in them and I would like to see all of them here in the future - the people in charge of the club agree.

"But we are trying to progress, I tried to be positive with them and show the players we want to progress. But if we cannot do it quickly, we will wait and talk after the Champions League.

"It is clear we want to keep these players and to keep them happy here. I have confidence because the conversations were good but maybe now for this next few weeks it is time to finish talking.

"If we have an agreement okay, if we do not have an agreement we have shown them that we are interested in their futures.

"But now I want to focus on football and the Champions League."



SEE ALSO
Benitez plan wins Gillett backing
04 Apr 07 |  Liverpool
Benitez agent cools Real rumours
21 Mar 07 |  Liverpool


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