Liverpool Offer Benitez £3million To Leave Anfield…

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Rafael Benitez is set to hold talks with his agent on Thursday to discuss the Spaniard’s possible exit from Anfield.

The Liverpool manager has been the subject of intense speculation that he was to leave the Barclays Premier League club.

Benitez’s agent kept quiet over the exit talk on Wednesday but was believed to be meeting his client on Thursday to talk about a proposed payment to end his contract.

Benitez experienced a dismal 2009/10 season as his team finished only seventh in the Premier League and suffered early exits from the Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.

According to several reports, Liverpool made Benitez an offer to walk away from the club, however there has been no official confirmation.

Agent Manuel Garcia Quilon said: “We don’t know anything more than what’s being said. We’re not saying anything.”

Benitez, 50, signed a five-year contract in March 2009.

He joined Liverpool in 2004 after a successful spell with Valencia and led the club to Champions League victory in his first season, however the Premier League title has been elusive and Benitez’s team were unable to build on a second-placed finish in the 2008/09 season.

The former Valencia manager has recently been linked with the vacancy at Inter Milan, following Jose Mourinho’s move to Real Madrid.

Liverpool refused to comment on the reports that Benitez was nearing the end of his spell at Anfield, after six years at the helm.

Several of Benitez’s first-team squad have recently been linked with summer moves, including captain Steven Gerrard, Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano and star forward Fernando Torres.

Co-owner Tom Hicks recently said Benitez would have a “substantial” transfer budget this summer despite he and George Gillett trying to sell the club, a process which could take 18 months.

It has since been reported that the funds available to Benitez could be as little as £5million, before selling players.

Benitez had suggested he would require in excess of £50million to put the club back in contention for the Champions League places, never mind the Premier League title.

Speaking last week, Benitez rubbished reports that he has been offered the chance to become coach of the United Arab Emirates.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “I was very surprised to read about this story (being offered the UAE coaching job) but it seems more and more as if they keep happening from somewhere.

“I am very happy here in Liverpool. I have always been happy and I want to stay here for a long time – if it is possible.”

Liverpool were put up for sale in April, with an asking price of between £600million and £800million, and Hicks had claimed there is a large number of “interested buyers”.

Parent company Kop Holdings were £351million in the red last summer with annual loan repayments of £40million.

 

 

RAFAEL BENITEZ FACTFILE

 

 

 

1960: Born Madrid, April 4.

1974: Joins Real Madrid, making slow progress through the ranks.

1981: Leaves Real Madrid without ever playing for the first team and joins Third Division Parla.

1983: Part of the Parla side which gains promotion to Segunda B.

1986: After retiring as a player, appointed to Real Madrid’s coaching staff, starting off with the juniors and working up to the Under-19s.

1994: Leads Real Madrid’s B team to seventh in Spain’s Second Division and ends the season as assistant to first-team coach Vicente del Bosque.

1995: Appointed coach of Valladolid but sacked after 23 games with the team bottom of the Primera Liga.

1996: Takes over at Osasuna in Second Division, but lasts just nine games after recording one win.

1997: Joins Second Division outfit Extremadura and leads them to promotion.

1999: Extremadura relegated from top flight after a play-off defeat to Villarreal.

1999-2000: Quits Extremadura to take a year’s sabbatical to study coaching in Italy and England.

2000: Appointed boss of Second Division Tenerife and leads them promotion.

2001: Replaces Hector Cuper at Valencia and leads the club to their first Primera Liga title in 31 years.

2004: Leads Valencia to their first ever double, lifting both the Primera Liga and the UEFA Cup.

June 1 – Valencia announce that Benitez and the club have agreed to part by mutual consent.

June 16 – Confirmed as Liverpool manager on five-year contract.

2005: May – Wins Champions League in his first season as Liverpool come from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul.

2007: February – American duo Tom Hicks and George Gillett buy the club from David Moores, vowing to bring the Premier League title to Anfield.

May – Benitez’s side reach the Champions League final for the second time in three seasons but lose to AC Milan in Athens.

2008: Relations between Benitez and the Anfield hierarchy sour suddenly with doubts over the Spaniard’s long-term future, largely due to differences of opinion over transfer policy.

2009: March 18 – Benitez signs a new contract after months of uncertainty, keeping him at Anfield until 2014. Liverpool finish second to Manchester United in the Premier League.

November – Finds his position under intense scrutiny after a run of six defeats in seven games in all competitions, the only win coming over United at Anfield, while they also crash out of the Champions League at the group stage.

December 13 – Benitez comes under further fire after Liverpool are dumped out of the FA Cup following a 2-1 third-round replay at home to Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Reading.

March 28 – Pledges his commitment to Liverpool before discussing his future with new club chairman Martin Broughton.

April 29 – Liverpool are knocked out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage by Atletico Madrid.

May 9 – A goalless draw on the final day at relegated Hull confirms Liverpool finish the Barclays Premier League season in seventh – their worst position since 1999.

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