Liverpool have joined Manchester City in the hunt for exciting Spanish midfielder Benat, reports the London Metro.

The 25-year-old Real Betis star, who has been likened in playing style to Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso, has emerged as one of La Liga's leading lights over the past two seasons, prompting admiring glances from a host of Premier League clubs.

Manchester City scouts are believed to have been monitoring Benat's progress closely in recent months - including in Betis' 1-0 victory over Real Madrid, where he scored the winner - as Roberto Mancini considers a bid to bring the playmaker to the Etihad Stadium.

However, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is also keen on the technical midfield maestro, after being promised by Anfield owners that he will be given funds to strengthen his squad in January.

Spanish publication AS suggest Benat could cost upwards of £15million, which could prove to be a sticking point for Liverpool. Rodgers might only be willing to spend half that amount, but could maximise his budget by selling the likes of Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson in the New Year.

The Reds boss is targeting a forward as a priority in the forthcoming transfer window, but knows the Spanish international could add vital balance and creativity with his impressive range of passing, to Liverpool's lacklustre midfield.

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