Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool plan to make Brendan Rodgers one of world's highest-paid managers

By Stuart McKinley

Liverpool plan to make Brendan Rodgers one of the world's highest paid football managers this summer – even if he fails to deliver the Premier League title to Anfield.

Already the grapevine is buzzing with rumours that Ulsterman Rodgers' thrilling feats with Liverpool this season have attracted the interest of European giants Barcelona and AC Milan, both of whom are deeply unhappy with their current bosses.

Rodgers will not sit down with Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Group, until June at the earliest, but sources within Anfield have already mooted that the deal on offer will be at least five years – and provide Rodgers with a salary that only Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger can better in the Premier League.

And, of course, Brendan's bargaining power will be even greater if he sits down at the negotiating table as the man who ended Liverpool fans' 24-year-long wait for a top-flight title.

Sunday's thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester City – Liverpool's 10th Premier League victory in a row – has made them hot favourites to finish top of the pile, but even if they're pipped by Chelsea, Rodgers can't lose.

He will, however, insist on having more of a say in which players arrive at Anfield, having been thwarted in the past by Fenway, whose boss John W Henry insists on new arrivals being long-term value for money.

The American tycoon and Boston Red Sox owner, however, is not adverse to paying top dollar for the men in charge of his teams – 12 years ago he offered Oakland's Billy Beane the chance to become the highest-paid general manager in baseball history, an episode highlighted in the movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt.

Beane famously turned Henry down – and Liverpool are confident the in-demand Rodgers, whose current deal runs until June 2015, won't do something similar.

Mourinho, incidentally, earns £14m a year with Chelsea, while Wenger is paid £7.5m annually by Arsenal. Other high earners include Pep Guardiola (Bayern, £12.4m), Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid, £11.1m), Fabio Capello (Russia, £9.9m) and Marcello Lippi (Guangzhou Evergrande, £9.5m).

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