Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool offer exit deal to Benitez

By Chris Holt

Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool tenure is about to come to an end after he was offered a severance package by the club last night.

Benitez has been under pressure following a disastrous season which saw the Reds fail to qualify for the Champions’ League after finishing seventh in the Premier League.

The cash-strapped club would find it difficult to sack the Spaniard having agreed a lucrative new contract last year, which would have cost them in the region of £16million to break. However, having pulled together what is believed to be £3million up front with potentially more to follow, Liverpool’s paymasters are now hoping that Benitez will take them up on their offer and step aside.

Should he accept the offer of a golden handshake, Benitez will now be favourite to take over from Jose Mourinho as boss of Inter Milan.

In an amazing turn of events last night, the reports surrounding Benitez emerged just hours after Fabio Capello had brokered a new deal with the FA to stay on as England manager until after Euro 2012.

Capello had been heavily linked with the Inter job over the weekend with the Italians aware of a clause in his contract which stated he, or the FA, could break the deal before the qualification stages of the European Championships.

With Benitez now likely to be heading to the San Siro, Fulham’s Roy Hodgson is an early favourite for the Anfield job.

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