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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 10:38 GMT
Liverpool deny transfer ban claim
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Rafael Benitez
Benitez will be allowed to do deals in January
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has dismissed claims boss Rafael Benitez has been told he cannot do any transfer deals in January.

It was reported Liverpool's American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks had placed Benitez under a transfer embargo on moves in and out of Anfield.

But Parry told BBC Sport: "I can say that this is absolute rubbish."

Liverpool, however, are likely to wait until the summer to complete a proposed 17m move for Javier Mascherano.

We needed to clarify the situation and it was a very positive meeting.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez

Benitez met Hicks and Gillett after Sunday's defeat against Manchester United at Anfield in a bid to settle recent differences over transfer policy.

The meeting was described as "amicable" - although BBC Sport understands the American duo made it clear to Benitez that any further debate on club policy must not be made public.

Benitez remains confident of completing the purchase of Argentine midfield man Mascherano at the end of the season, while he is also hoping to complete two free transfer Bosman deals when the transfer window opens next month.

Peter Crouch and Momo Sissoko have been linked with moves away from Liverpool, while Benitez had also been hopeful of concluding a deal for AC Milan defender Kakha Kaladze.

The Spanish coach made a public attack on the club's hierarchy when he was told to concentrate on coaching rather than transfer business until they arrived back in England for the Manchester United game.

It was a stance that brought a stinging public rebuke from Hicks, who ordered Benitez to "quit talking".

Benitez is now unlikely to jeopardise his position further with any renewed criticism of Hicks and Gillett after a meeting described by one Anfield insider as "surprisingly low-key".

The manager was pleased with the meeting, saying: "We needed to clarify the situation and it was a very positive meeting.

"The conversation was very fluid because we were face to face, whereas it's more difficult over the phone or by e-mail.

"My English isn't always the best but having the chance to talk to them slowly and with time allowed us to analyse small problems. Now we can move forward."

SEE ALSO
Gillett gives backing to Benitez
17 Dec 07 |  Football
Mascherano 'will stay' at Anfield
06 Dec 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool downgrade stadium plan
17 Dec 07 |  Liverpool
Benitez wants to call Reds truce
26 Nov 07 |  Liverpool


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