Valencia coach Rafa Benitez claims he wants to stay with the Spanish champions despite reports that Liverpool are keen to sign him as a replacement for Gerard Houllier.

Benitez appears to be using the interest from Liverpool as a bargaining tool with his present employers.

“I want to stay on at Valencia because I believe it’s a great club,” Benitez told Valencia-based Radio Nou on Wednesday.

“But we need to talk about the club’s plans for the future.”

Benitez told Spanish sports daily Marca he was aware of the reported interest from Liverpool, but claimnedhis advisor was fielding all enquiries.

“Whenever a team, its players and technical staff win titles then they are bound to attract interest from other clubs, but it is up to my representative to take care of all that,” he said.

Valencia president Jaime Orti remains confident Benitez will be in charge at the club next season.

“Everyone at the club agrees that Benitez should stay here for several more years,” said Orti.

“We have yet to agree a new deal and sign it but the most important thing is that both parties are keen to come to terms.”