Friday, February 27, 2009

Benitez wants to progress with the deal

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is hopeful that he will have talks about a new contract at some point during the coming week.

Benitez's contract negotiations have been the source of much speculation, with reports of the Spaniard's demands for more control over transfers and his refusal to agree to co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett's revised offers constantly emerging.
The Anfield angst came to a head on Friday when Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry, a man Benitez famously struggled to work alongside, announced that he would be leaving his post at the end of the season.

Parry's announcement came at the end of a week that also saw rumours suggesting that Benitez was on the verge of quitting Liverpool, something the former Valencia coach has, however, been quick to rubbish.

Although Benitez has denied that Parry's exit will persuade him to sign a new deal - his current contract runs out in 2010 - the Spaniard seems optimistic that the wrangling will be sorted out sooner rather than later.

"We will have new talks maybe next week," Benitez declared.
"We will see whether we can progress, it is not about who is there or not at the moment, it is about the future.
"It is important to finalise my contract, but we have been working for months on this, so let's see where we go from here."
"I have been talking about the need for the owners and my advisors to talk, and they are still to talk," he added.

The other possible reason for Rafa's reluctance to sign could be also because of a possible sale of the club. Benitez may be stalling and will not sign a new deal until he knows who possible new owners could be.

One source said: "He is in a strong position. The owners will get a better price if he stays as manager, that has been confirmed to them by advisors to a Middle East group interested in buying."

Benitez wants the financial muscle to compete with Manchester United in the transfer market and, if he discovers potential new owners are not in the super-rich bracket, he may consider the change of power is no better than the current owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Benitez will now put Champions League progress and a defiant bid for the Barclays Premier league title - starting with today's trip to Middlesbrough - above all other considerations.

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