Benitez in talks with Dalglish over youth development role
Monday 20 April 2009
Rafael Benitez wants to hire Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish in a new backroom role, advising and supervising youth development at the club.
The Liverpool manager, who is profoundly frustrated at the lack of Premier League potential being developed at the club's academy in Kirkby, has undertaken preliminary talks with Dalglish which seem to have paved the way for the possibility of a roving role for the 58-year-old, working at both the academy and Anfield with an emphasis on youth development.
Dalglish (right) is understood to be making a trip to Ireland on club-related business with commercial director Ian Ayre soon and, though that is unrelated to the Benitez discussions, he has retained an interest and involvement in a club with whom he won six titles as a player and three as a manager.
Benitez's frustrations about the academy have led him to order a review of its work, headed by former chief scout Frank McParland. Convinced the set-up is not working under Piet Hamberg, academy technical director, a clear-out of staff is expected.
The club's third-string goalkeeper, Charles Itandje, has claimed his behaviour at the ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster has been blown out of proportion. Despite his initial apology for scenes in which TV cameras caught him joking around during the ceremony, the 26-year-old Frenchman told media in his own country: "It is a 30-second clip about which people are going overboard. You need to see an hour of the video if you want to judge my behaviour, but you know the papers over there [in England]. They make a big deal of things."
When asked if he could describe what he was doing in the footage, which has been circulated on the internet, Itandje replied: "No idea. I haven't even seen it. I don't know at what moment it was being filmed." Itandje revealed he has had no contact with Benitez since he was banned for 14 days as a result of his actions.
The former France Under-21 international added that he does not believe his position at the club, for whom he has made just seven first-team appearances since signing from Lens in 2007, will be affected by the fallout from the incident.
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