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Nov 6, 2012

Benat remains relaxed about future

Benat Etxebarria said he was not worrying about his future after another spectacular free kick helped Real Betis to a 4-2 La Liga win at Getafe on Monday.

The 25-year-old - reported to be a €20 million target for new Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain - made his debut for the full Spain team before Euro 2012 and retained his place in Vicente del Bosque's squad for La Roja's recent World Cup qualifiers.

A mooted €15 million move to Wolfsburg broke down last summer, while Liverpool, Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao have also been linked with a move for the sought-after Basque playmaker as negotiations to extend his current contract, which ends in June 2014, remain deadlocked.

Speaking to Marca TV immediately after the game, the player said: "I am very happy here, but I just concentrate on playing. The new contract is a subject for other people."

Jorge Molina, Ruben Castro and Salva Sevilla were also on the scoresheet for Betis as the verdiblancos rose to fourth in the table, but Benat said it was too early to be thinking about European qualification.

"There is still a long way to go, but we have shown that Betis work well at home and away," he added. "We must go step by step, and then see what happens."

Betis coach Pepe Mel, whose second-half substitutions changed the game after a dour goalless first half, said he had not been happy with Benat's performance, substituting him immediately after the free-kick which put his side 2-1 ahead midway through the second half.

"The goal was good," Mel said. "But he did not play well today. I always want to have the best Benat. If he is able to do those things playing at 60%, we must try and get him at 100%.

"He is a great player who put us in front with his free-kick and had some good moments, but we need him to do that for 90 minutes."

Betis will go ahead of Real Madrid and in to third place if they win their next La Liga game at home to Granada on Friday.

But Mel said: "I want the team to be in this position in June, not now. I have to convince everyone that the most important game is the next one against Granada. No matter how good Betis are, we are specialists in messing things up."

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