Liverpool had reportedly identified Spain midfielder Benat as a potential summer acquisition, had they failed in the pursuit of Swansea star Joe Allen.

The Reds completed the signing of Allen in July for a fee of £13.5 million, with the Wales international following Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers from the Liberty Stadium to Anfield.

Rodgers had outlined the signing of Allen as a top priority after moving to Liverpool but, naturally, would have had alternative players in mind had the Reds been unable to sign the 22-year-old.

According to respected Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague, among the possibilities for Liverpool - prior to the signing of Allen - was Real Betis' Benat, who could now leave La Liga in the January transfer window.

Benat has a €10 million release clause written into his contract with Betis, which may appeal to Liverpool should Rodgers decide he wants to bring further midfield reinforcements to Anfield in the New Year.

The 25-year-old has the attributes to fit into Liverpool's high-intensity, possession-based system adopted by Rodgers since his arrival, although they may have to fend off interest from Arsenal should the Reds formalise an approach.

Spanish newspaper AS has previously claimed both Arsenal and Liverpool are tracking Benat, although Arsene Wenger is likely to cool his interest with Jack Wilshere now back in the Gunners first-team.

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