Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has revealed how the Anfield club blocked him from signing Dani Alves and Stevan Jovetic.
The Spaniard was speaking in an interview with Sports Illustrated when he made the comments that admitted he wanted Barcelona’s current full-back to ply his trade with the Reds.
Benitez also wanted to sign young Serbian Jovetic – currently excelling at Fiorentina – but was told there was not enough money, which he disputed due to it being straight after the sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
“Daniel Alves was our first option on the right side,” said Benitez in the interview.
“The problem that we had - I had to decide to bring Alves as a winger when he was an offensive fullback.
“It was a difficult decision as we had money at the time for only just one striker or a winger/fullback.
“We signed a striker, the striker was Kuyt, who to be fair has turned out to be a fantastic contributor to the club.”
The former Valencia manager left Anfield under a bit of a cloud, with many fans calling for his sacking and reports in the media of him falling out with certain players in his squad.
One of the players who would have liked to have added was Jovetic, but it was not to be as the club deemed the funds available to be insufficient.
“Jovetic was our target but we didn't have the money,” he added.
“My idea was to play Mascherano, Lucas, [Steven] Gerrard, Aquilani -- two of these four players in the middle and Jovetic between the lines, but we didn't have the money.”
When it was pointed out that the sale of Alonso should have been sufficient to pay for both Aquilani and Jovetic, his response was illuminating: “You are right. In theory”.
Overall, Benitez’s time in charge of Liverpool was a success and the pinnacle of that success was the remarkable comeback in the Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005.
Currently out of work, but still living in England, he has been linked with the vacant manager’s post at Chelsea.