Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has once again denied reports he is planning to bring Michael Owen back to Liverpool.

Owen has been linked with a return to Anfield after being granted permission to speak to other clubs by his current club Real Madrid.

Benitez is close to selling Milan Baros but he denies that the loss of the Czech Republic striker will result in Owen returning to Anfield. The Liverpool boss also moved to squash speculation about the departure of Djibril Cisse.

“I was waiting for [a question about] Baros, maybe another one about Owen and maybe about Cisse,” said Benitez.

“Baros we don’t have news on. We have a good offer from Olympique Lyon and another one from Aston Villa.

“We must analyse both and while we analyse he will be playing for us.

“About Owen and Cisse there is no news. Cisse is our player and I can assure you we are looking for a centre back, not a centre forward.

“When I read the Spanish press I smile as we have not made an offer [for Owen] and are only thinking about the centre back position.”