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Benitez sidesteps Reds claims

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Football News

Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez responded to Liverpool's claims that he had agreed not to poach players from Anfield by insisting he is not responsible for signing players for the Italian club.

Reds manager Roy Hodgson has said Benitez would be reneging on an agreement not to raid Anfield for players if he pursued Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt.

"I am the coach and I cannot sign players - that is for the technical director and the chairman," the Spaniard said.

"I am fine like this - I can focus on my work on the pitch and that is all. I am the coach, not the manager."

Hodgson denied any knowledge of Kuyt wanting to leave despite suggestions by his agent that talks between Liverpool and Inter are continuing.

"Dirk has not expressed that sentiment to me," said Hodgson, who insisted the assurances he had received from Inter president Massimo Moratti last week that the Italians were not intending to buy any Liverpool players still held firm.

"When he left the club Rafael Benitez signed an agreement that he would not poach players from Liverpool.

"We haven't received an offer from any club so this is something obviously going on behind the scenes, with the agent possibly talking to the manager of Inter Milan."

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Dirk Kuyt

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