Benitez has no money for new players

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been told that there is no money available to strengthen the club's defence after American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett refused to open the purse strings.

Benitez wants to buy another centre-back with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel both out injured but the club's cash-flow problems look to have put the kibosh on any possible new arrivals before the transfer window closes.

Veteran defender Sami Hyypia was allowed to leave during the summer meaning that Liverpool are left with just inexperienced youngster Daniel Ayala and Jamie Carragher ahead of the game against Stoke City.

Benitez is said to be interested in Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta but has not been given the funds to buy the player. The Spaniard was promised £20m and any money raised from sales when he signed a new contract last season.

However, it now appears that the goalposts have been moved with the club having raised over £40 million from the sales of Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sebastien Leto, Paul Anderson, Jack Hobbs and Adam Hammill.

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