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Benitez eyes long-term challenge to United

Rafael Benitez believes Liverpool are best placed to challenge Manchester United for Premier League supremacy in coming seasons.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has high hopes for his youthful Gunners side and Chelsea are sure to hand their new manager a significant transfer budget in the summer, but Reds chief Benitez insists his side are further along than either.

''The spine of the team is there now,'' he said. ''We can improve a little bit in certain areas but overall we don't need to change a lot of players.

''Stability is always good for any club and because the squad is better it means you don't need to change too many players - and the manager staying is another important message.

''I think we are better placed than the others for challenging United in the long term.''

Benitez will be looking to improve his squad at the end of the season, but the Spaniard thinks he only needs to make minor adjustments to his playing staff.

''Now it will be easier. We can say (to players) 'come to Liverpool as you will win trophies in the future' and I think they will come.

''We need some quality players to take us forward. If we can keep the consistency of this year then one or two players could make a massive difference.''

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