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Money talked Malouda into Chelsea, says Benitez

By Andy Hunter and Jason Burt

Published 18/08/2007

The Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez commenced his seasonal dispute with Jose Mourinho last night when he accused the Chelsea manager of having a fixation with the Anfield club and Florent Malouda of only moving to Stamford Bridge for the money.

Malouda, the French international left-winger, was a target for Benitez this summer. The Spaniard spoke to the 27-year-old on several occasions and was assured a transfer had been agreed until hesitation over the fee by the Anfield hierarchy enabled Chelsea to agree a £13.4m deal with Lyons.

"Some players prefer more money and it's something you cannot control," Benitez said. "Malouda was one of our names but decided to go to Chelsea. He knows why. I don't think it was because of the London lifestyle. The money? I don't want to say anything, but I know the answer."

It appears, meanwhile, that Real Madrid are preparing to hijack Chelsea's bid for Daniel Alves. Reports emanating from Spain suggest that an offer of €37m (£25m) has been tabled by Real for Alves and the Spanish midfielder Antonio Puerta. Their club, Seville, would also receive the Real right-back Cicinho, although he has also been in talks with the Serie A club, Roma.

A stumbling block for Real, however, is that Alves has made it clear he wants to move to Chelsea. His agent, Geronimo Suarez, in confident a deal can be done before the end of the transfer window.

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