I want Alonso to stay - Benitez

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Football News

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has reiterated he does not want to lose Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.

Reports have indicated the Spanish giants are as keen as ever to sign the midfielder.

But Benitez, speaking after last night's 3-0 pre-season friendly defeat against Espanyol, said: "He is our player and we want him to stay."

Former Chelsea forward Ben Sahar scored twice against a strong Liverpool team, captained by influential midfielder 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.

The Spaniard added: "Nobody likes losing like that, but it's pre-season so it doesn't matter. I'm not worried about it."

Asked if Javier Mascherano, who has been linked with Barcelona, will leave, Benitez said: "No."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Steven Gerrard
Ben Sahar

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