Cash-strapped Reds get more bad news from Benitez's agent

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The Independent Football

If Liverpool followers thought that Tom Hicks' latest business deal might mean some much needed funds trickling their way into Anfield, the club's manager, Rafael Benitez, moved quickly to scotch those hopes yesterday. And the Spaniard's agent had some other unwelcome news for the fans when he refused to dismiss recent speculation linking Benitez with a summer move to Juventus.

Hicks Sports Group has sold Texas Rangers, the Liverpool co-owner's Major League Baseball side, for $500m (£308m) but the bucks, according to Benitez, will stop there. "I don't think so, it is another company," Benitez said when asked the potential for some spending money. "The majority of clubs are now run like companies. You have to think about football and business, both things together. This year we have done a fantastic job trying to balance the books."

Benitez's frustrations with the financial limitations at the club have given Italian giants Juventus hope of prising the Spaniard away from Anfield this summer to replace Ciro Ferrara, who is facing the sack this week after a string of dismal results at the Stadio delle Alpi.

"Benitez to Juventus? In football, you never know," said his agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon. "I do not know what will happen in four to five months. Everything changes quickly but the basic principle is that Rafa still has a four-year contract."

For tonight's Premier League game at Wolves, Benitez will still be without Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio and Yossi Benayoun. Steven Gerrard, however, should be fit enough to return but Benitez underlined that the England midfielder being "available" and being back to his best are not the same thing. "Sometimes a player is not fully fit but has to play as he is very important," the manager said.