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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Benitez slaps £15million price tag on Crouch

Rafael Benitez has slapped a £15m price tag on England striker Peter Crouch on the day that he lost his first-team coach Alex Miller and confirmed that Harry Kewell will leave Liverpool.

And the Anfield chief also revealed that he had held talks with Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill over the potential transfer of midfielder Gareth Barry to Liverpool.

Benitez accepts that Crouch could have his head turned after a frustrating season when he has found first-team chances hard to come by - but the Spaniard insists he will not be leaving on the cheap.

'Crouch wants to play every week but knows he must fight it out with Fernando Torres,' Benitez said.

'We keep seeing Portsmouth linked with the player but we have had no offer as yet.

'A £15m price tag would not be unreasonable.'

On Kewell's departure, Benitez added: 'We have tried to come to an agreement with the player and his agent, but that has not been possible.

'Kewell will leave the club at the end of his contract.'

It is believed that Kewell has rejected a new deal on reduced wages.

Benitez also explained further the pending saga over Barry, and revealed that nothing more will happen until after this weekend's closing round of league matches.

He said: 'I have spoken to Martin O'Neill, he knows my ideas.

'But we agreed to wait until the end of the season for any more discussions.'