Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rafa has no room for Yossi

Yossi Benayoun has been told he has no future at Liverpool by manager Rafa Benitez.

But despite several clubs, including Sevilla and Spurs, hunting the £9million-rated midfielder, Liverpool will block his sale until the Anfield managerial crisis is resolved. Benayoun's fate is being seen as the acid test of whether Benitez will avoid the sack this summer.

Benitez and Benayoun's relationship has broken down and tensions came to a head when the Israeli was left out of the squad for the final league game at Hull a week ago.

No major deals will be sanctioned until the board determines who will lead the team next season, and Benayoun says he is willing to fight on at Anfield under new management.

Benitez will see his decision on Benayoun as a test of how much authority he still has at the club.

If he's over-ruled, he'll know he no longer has the backing of the board, although they're stalling on whether to sack him because of the cost. The sale of Benayoun, who a new manager may wish to keep, would be a clear signal Benitez is staying.

Benayoun won't be the only high profile departure unless there is a change of manager.

But Liverpool are adamant they can bide their time and wait until just before pre-season before clarifying the situation.

What's certain is the only way Benitez will leave is if he's sacked. Despite hints he was considering quitting towards the end of the season, it's clear he would never walk away from his lucrative contract.

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