Benitez reiterates Alonso stance
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez tonight insisted he wants Xabi Alonso to stay at Anfield.
Reports in Spain have indicated Real Madrid are as keen as ever to sign the midfielder. But Benitez tonight said: "He is our player and we want him to stay."
Benitez saw his side suffer a 3-0 defeat to Espanyol in a pre-season friendly on Sunday, as former Chelsea forward Ben Sahar scored twice against a strong Liverpool team, captained by Steven Gerrard. Alonso came off the bench for the closing minutes and it remains unclear whether he will start the season with Liverpool.
Benitez brushed off the setback of losing in a match which was set up to officially open Espanyol's new stadium. "Nobody likes losing like that, but it's pre-season so it doesn't matter. I'm not worried about it," he said. Asked if Javier Mascherano, who has been linked with Barcelona, will leave, Benitez said: "No."