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Liverpool chiefs willing to let Benitez leave


Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez

The attitude of the Liverpool hierarchy towards Rafael Benitez is that they will not stand in his way if the well-trailed offer from Juventus is finally put to their Spanish manager, but both parties regard that situation as still a long way off.

The pressure has been building this week with more leaks from Italy suggesting that Benitez, who has four years left to run on his Liverpool contract, will be the subject of a £16m, four-year deal from the Italian club.

While the Italians are not yet near putting a formal request to Liverpool there is the sense that the move will speed up over the next few weeks.

Senior figures at Liverpool have indicated that — unlike in the past when Benitez has parlayed his popularity with the fans into improved contracts and greater influence at the club — this will not be the case should Juventus' offer turns our to be genuine.

Benitez was in a much stronger position in March last year when he signed his existing deal at Liverpool — a four-year extension to 2014.

Then, with the American co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks desperate to keep some semblance of stability to attract potential buyers, Benitez was regarded as untouchable 11 months ago

At the moment, Benitez is still planning for Liverpool's next season with interest expressed in Rafael Van der Vaart of Real Madrid.

And last night the Reds’ rebuilding got underway with Benitez believed to have tabled a £1.7m bid for Charlton Athletic midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Belfast Telegraph