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By ESPN Staff
Feb 9, 2007

Benitez planning 'world class' signings

Rafael Benitez accepts that life will be easier for him in the transfer market under Liverpool's new American owners.

But although he claims the club will never be the same again, he insists he does not feel any extra pressure working for owners who do not know his qualities and track record intimately.

And the Anfield chief believes the club is in for a major transformation following the midweek takeover by new co-chairmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

However, at the moment very little has changed. The American circus has returned across the pond and former chairman David Moores, still a director, will be in his usual seat in the directors' box when Liverpool face Newcastle on Tyneside in a crucial Premier League match.

Benitez sees only good in the future and, even if he has not been told how much money he will have to spend, he does reveal that he 'will only now be looking to signing top class players'.

Benitez, who will be missing the suspended Xabi Alonso at St James Park but expects to have Mohamed Sissoko finally back from injury, said: 'It has been a very important week and something that will change everything.

'We talked about the future of the club, not money or this player or that player. We talked about who we had in the squad and ideas for the future.

'They were nice people and good businessmen. That is a good mix, they can then do the right things for the club in terms of money and how we grow.

'They will try to do the things they are doing in the States with regard to marketing. That is what they are really good at. We can grow and improve.'

He added: 'It could be a problem of inflated fees now, but I am happy with my scouting department and we are doing a good job now without any big money.

'We have enough money to do business now and if we have more in the future it could be easier. If we have two players we like and one is more expensive, maybe now we can consider signing him.

'We are doing the right things now and maybe we will not need to spend big money in the summer.'

Benitez, who takes his squad to Portugal on Monday for a five-day warm-weather training camp, dismisses talk of extra pressures on him, saying: 'I do not feel under any more pressure. When you sign for a new club they may know something about you but they do not really know you.

'So this situation is no different. They know enough about us, they are clever, certainly not stupid.

'They know how important it is to keep the same things, the players, the manager. They will be calm and give us support.

'Everything is positive, the future of the club is brilliant and I had a very good meeting with the new investors.

'They will do their best for club. Not just with money for signing players, they will try to improve everything.

'They know they do not have experience in football, but they are people who know about sport. That is important.

'We talked a lot about the ideas for the club, they will do the right things. They understand the passion of this club and our supporters.

'We have not talked about budgets, more ideas and how to keep the team at the top of the table to remain contenders.'

He added: 'But I will have more money, normally that will make things easier. But I have said to them that it is not a problem of money, more to do the right things at the right moment.

'I have no figures in mind. But we have always been watching top class players, who we believe can improve the squad. We have a really good squad now, but to make the next step higher we can only sign top class players.

'More money will make it better for us. Manchester United have spent big money on key players, and now we have the spine of a team maybe we can approach the market like they have done. But it is not going to be a Chelsea-situation here.'

Benitez said: 'We have plans to improve everything. The stadium, the squad, young players, everything that can be really good for the club.

'If we get a bigger stadium we will have more fans supporting us in every game and that will help. It will also bring in more money, and that is very positive.

'What we must do is to take the atmosphere from Anfield to the new stadium.

'We will continue doing the same things. I am talking to (chief executive) Rick Parry every day, we cannot stop doing what we have always done.

'First it is Newcastle, then the rest of the season and then what we will do in the summer.

'I read that I will have £100million in the summer, I know nothing of that. At the moment we do not have any money. We are just preparing for the future.'