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Liverpool’s Agger Says He Won’t Be Part of Post-Benitez Exodus

Liverpool’s Danish defender Daniel Agger said he’s committed to the English Premier League soccer club no matter who replaces former manager Rafael Benitez.

The 18-time English champion is looking for a coach after parting with the Spaniard earlier this month. Several players, including captain Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres, have been linked with other clubs following the team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season.

“I’m not thinking about playing for anyone else,” Agger said in an interview at Soccer City in Johannesburg yesterday after his team was defeated 2-0 by the Netherlands in the World Cup. “I have a four-year contract and I’m staying.”

Liverpool finished seventh last season, its worst position in 11 years. The club’s American owners have put it up for sale and a search for a new coach hasn’t yielded any results.

Benitez, now manager of European champion Inter Milan, has been linked with an offer for Agger’s Liverpool teammate Javier Mascherano. The Daily Mail reported the Argentina World Cup captain is learning Italian.

U.K. press reports today said the first player to leave Liverpool will be Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun. The Times said he’ll complete a 6-million-pound ($8.8 million) to Chelsea in the coming days. Forward Ryan Babel, winger Albert Riera, defender Philipp Degen and goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri are also likely to leave, the newspaper added.

Agger, signed by Benitez from Brondby in 2006, said he hadn’t heard from the Spaniard since his departure. “I haven’t spoken to him since it happened,” Agger said. “To be honest I’m happy to be here and concentrating on the World Cup.”

In five years at Liverpool, Benitez won a European Cup and an F.A. Cup. The team hasn’t won anything for four seasons.

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