Rafa Benitez has just £1.5m to spend

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Liverpool boss Rafa Benítez has reportedly been told that he has just £1.5 million to bolster his first-team squad, despite selling Xabi Alonso for £30 million.

With Daniel Agger suffering with a back problem, Benítez is in desperate need of another centre-back before the curtain falls on the summer transfer window.

However, with the sum that the Spaniard has before him, he is unlikely to sign a single player on a permanent basis.

According to The Daily Telegraph, his first choice was Ryan Shawcross, but Stoke City have laughed off the suggestion that they would let an important player go out on loan for the remainder of the season.

Benítez has raised more than £40 million through the sale of Alonso, Sebastián Leto, Álvaro Arbeloa, Paul Anderson and Jack Hobbs. He also raked in £12 million when he flogged Robbie Keane during the previous transfer window.

The club's only significant acquisitions of the summer have been those of Glen Johnson from Portsmouth and Alberto Aquilani from AS Roma, totalling to an expenditure of about £33 million.

It means the Merseyside club have made a profit of at least £10 million.

But the Liverpool owners argue that the club must be run as a business and made it clear that pay increases handed out to Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt, Yossi Benayoun and Agger would be subtracted from the money made available to Benítez.

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