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Benitez scoffs at Real Madrid move

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LONDON, England -- Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has told their fans that he is "going nowhere" amid reports that he will be leaving Anfield to take over at Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Benitez steered Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 after joining them from Valencia in 2004.

He has regularly been linked with Real having been born in the city and representing them as a player.

Real have had a troubled season both on and off the field and doubts have been swirling around the future of the club's Italian manager Fabio Capello who rejoined them for a second spell in charge at the start of the season.

But he has ruled out any such move, telling Liverpool's official Web site: "I think it's important the fans know I am completely committed to Liverpool Football Club and I'm going nowhere.

"I know there's been a lot of speculation in the Spanish media linking me with Real Madrid. Any manager would be honored to be associated with such a famous club, especially as Madrid is my home city and also my former club.

"However, I want to make it clear I am very happy at Anfield and very happy in England and I'm genuinely excited by what the future holds for Liverpool."

Tom Hicks, who is close to finalizing ownership of Liverpool along with fellow investor George Gillett Jr., said Benitez "absolutely" remained in the club's plans and that the sides will discuss the manager's future after the March 31 match against Arsenal.

"I'll have all my family there, George will have all his family there and we'll celebrate our first game as new owners," Hicks told BBC Radio Five Live. "Then, we've set aside the day to talk about things."


Benitez has led his side into the quarterfinals of this year's Champions League.



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