Benitez free to pursue potential Juve move

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 to 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's offer turn out 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. With the club's 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.

His agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, is considered by the club as a prime mover in the attempts to broker an agreement with Juventus, although not everyone in English football is really convinced that they have the resources to complete the deal. It is likely that there will be some interest from Real Madrid in Benitez this summer, although the Juventus president, Jean-Claude Blanc, would push for a quick answer should the club put together an acceptable deal.

Benitez is still planning for next season with Liverpool, having expressed an interest in Rafael van der Vaart of Real Madrid. The 18-year-old Charlton midfielder Jonjo Shelvey also had a medical at the club yesterday before a possible £1.7m move to Anfield. Shelvey first came to prominence during the Addicks unsuccessful fight against relegation from the Championship last season and last summer was reported to have turned down a move to Chelsea.

Mersey Blues?

Liverpool fans are torn over the best way of approaching Sunday's potentially title-deciding visit of Chelsea.

*El Campeador (Red & White Kop)

"I cannot possibly summon up the inner strength to help put a medal round the necks of Neville, Ferguson and Rooney."

*Mkp187 (BBC 606)

"How can Rafa, Stevie or any Liverpool player seriously consider winning this game and handing United a historical 19th League title?"

*Andy@Allerton (Red & White Kop)

"I've never been to Anfield hoping to lose and am going on Sunday with the same attitude. It is a tricky one but we've got a duty as a football club and I hope we stuff Chelsea."

*LFCexiled (LFC Reds)

"Beat Chelsea. hope other scores favour us. If they get to 19 before us? We'll just have to get to 20 before them won't we?"

*Aggerdoo (Red and White Kop)

"I don't want to see United winning the league again and if that means losing one, what you could call, meaningless game in the course of history so be it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions