Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has claimed he almost signed Brazilian right-back Dani Alvez whilst he was at the club.
Speaking on the We Are Liverpool Podcast, the Spaniard suggested that he came close to signing the full-back over Dirk Kuyt, who arrived at Anfield in 2006.
“When we signed Dirk Kuyt, he was a great player for us, but we didn’t have money,” Benitez said.
“I remember the chairman giving us the money, so then we had to give him back the money later on. But he couldn’t have the money because we didn’t have money.
“I was looking for a right winger. He [Kuyt] can play as a winger, a striker, because I have a friend of mine who told me about his work-rate and how he could play in different positions. But we didn’t have the money.
“And Dani Alves [was available], and Dani Alves was around £10m, but he was a right full-back.
“Then you have to make a decision who to sign. A player who can play striker, second striker, right winger. Or you have to go for a full-back, Brazilian playing in Spain, and you would have to play him as a right winger – it’s a big risk.
“With this kind of thing, you have to make a decision depending on the context.”
Alves went on to win the Champions League three times with Barcelona.
Rafa chose Kuyt over Alves
You do wonder what Rafa Benitez could have done at Liverpool if he had been provided with ample funds.
The Spaniard obviously achieved outstanding success, culminating in winning the Champions League final in dramatic fashion in Istanbul back in 2004/05.
He almost led the Reds to the continental trophy again just two seasons later, but the side fell short to AC Milan in the final.
Under Benitez, Liverpool could never get over the line and win the Premier League title.
In 2005/06 and 2006/07, the Merseyside outfit topped out at third, before finishing second in 2008/09.
However, with the team finishing seventh place just a year later, the manager was sacked.
This raises the question of how far Liverpool could have gone if Benitez was backed in the transfer market. It’s a shame we never got to find out.