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Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Fernando Torres was worth 70m, says Rafael Benitez

Watch the full exclusive interview with Rafael Benitez on Football Focus, BBC One, Saturday, 1215 GMT


Torres was worth 70m - Benitez

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has revealed a £70m deal for Fernando Torres was mooted last year, and that he would like to manage the club again.

Striker Torres joined Chelsea on Monday for a British record fee of about £50m, but he had been valued even higher.

"I think last year we were talking about £70m," Benitez said in an interview for the BBC's Football Focus.

The 50-year-old Spaniard also said he would be keen to manage the Anfield club again at some stage in the future.

Torres moved to Chelsea on transfer deadline day, although the Blues had reportedly made a bid in May 2010. Despite a knee injury at the end of last season, he featured in Spain's World Cup-winning campaign.

"People were talking about maybe you receive an offer from another club. They were talking about £70m," added Benitez.

Of Torres' transfer deadline day move to Stamford Bridge, Benitez said: "He was not playing at the same level the last time, but he is still a very good player. It is big money but could [have been] even better."

Chelsea move a step forward - Torres

Benitez was sacked by Italian side Inter Milan in December only six months after it was announced he had left Liverpool by mutual consent following six years in charge.

He guided the Reds to Champions League success in 2005 and an FA Cup win the following year, and was in charge when Torres signed from Atletico Madrid for £20m in the summer of 2007.

Roy Hodgson was appointed as successor after Benitez's departure from Anfield, but he only lasted six months before Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish was drafted in until the end of the season.

With Liverpool's form improving under the Scot, and the club's owners spending the Torres cash on strikers Andy Carroll (£35m) and Luis Suarez (£22m), Dalglish looks set for a longer stay.

But Benitez said: "To be manager of Liverpool is a dream for me. This time, I know that Kenny is doing really well.

"I have to wait and keep watching games, but if you say to me in the future would you like to be manager, for sure, no doubt about this. When, that is the question. I have to move forward, anyway."

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see also
Carroll cool on Torres comparison
03 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
Chelsea pay record fee for Torres
31 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Benitez eyes comeback in England
22 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Inter Milan sack manager Benitez
23 Dec 10 |  Europe
Benitez reign at Liverpool ends
03 Jun 10 |  Liverpool

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