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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Benitez keen for Benayoun to stay

Yossi Benayoun
Benayoun scored 11 goals for Liverpool last season

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has played down claims Yossi Benayoun could leave the club, insisting he wants the Israeli to see out his Reds contract.

Benayoun, 28, recently claimed he would seek a move unless he played more, having made just four starts in 11 appearances so far this campaign.

But Benitez said: "If you are asked if you want to play more, you say yes.

"But I have been speaking to Yossi and he's happy. If he stays here until the end of his contract, I'll be pleased."

The midfielder, who joined the club for 5m from West Ham in 2007, has made 41 appearances for Liverpool but fears that his playing time will remain restricted following the team's good start to the season.

"If the situation remains the same over the next few months, I will not want to continue as a Liverpool player," he told Israel's Channel Five TV.

"I hope it changes as I want to stay and prove myself but it won't be easy. I'm at one of the biggest clubs in the world, but if I continue to be on the sidelines, I would not want to stay, even though it is Liverpool."

However, Benitez is keen for the midfielder to stay at the club, insisting Benayoun remains a key part of his plans.

"He's a player I like - he can change games, scores goals and he has a lot of assists.

"If he does not want to stay here, OK, we will find a solution to the problem. But now he is OK and ready for playing. I will not want to see any offer for him."

The Reds are joint top of the Premier League with Chelsea, having lost only once, picking up 32 points out of a possible 39.

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see also
Bolton 0-2 Liverpool
15 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Kuyt and Benayoun stay - Benitez
07 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Benayoun eager to stay at Anfield
27 Jun 08 |  Liverpool
Benayoun seals Liverpool transfer
12 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool admit Benayoun approach
14 Jun 07 |  Liverpool

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES Warnock In And Jose Enrique Out At The Toon? - 3 hrs ago
Telegraph Benayoun could push for exit - 4 hrs ago
The Times Benayoun frustrated by bench role - 4 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Benayoun considers quitting Liverpool - 4 hrs ago
Glasgow Herald Benayoun feels the frustration - 4 hrs ago


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