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Verratti backs Ventura for Italy success

Italy
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Macintosh: Wilshere must move to play

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Benitez already writing off title bid for 2008/09?

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has played down his side's chances of winning the Premier League next season, describing the title as 'an option'.

The Reds finished fourth in the season just ended, 11 points behind champions Manchester United.

Their last league title came back in 1990 but Benitez did not sound overly confident of ending that depressing streak in 2008/2009.

'It is an option, for sure,' he told the club's website. 'We know our weaknesses and our strengths. We know where we need to improve, so we'll try to build a new team looking at these things.

'It's more difficult than in Spain because the top sides spend big, big money. We will try to do our best and the key for me is to not talk about the title.

'The key is to be near the top, to be contenders. If we stay close then I think we are capable of doing it.

'It's more difficult because after two years of Chelsea winning the league and spending big money, United needed to do the same.

'They started spending big money and Arsenal were also spending big money on young players. We are trying to do the same but because they (Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal) are continuing to spend big money, it makes it more difficult to catch up.

'You also see Aston Villa, Newcastle, West Ham and Everton spending money and having strong teams. It's not easy to be in the top four and be contenders but because we have a young squad we can try again.'

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