Owen and Gerrard to have input over new manager

Rick Parry, the Liverpoolchief executive, said the club have not yet approached anyone over the vacant manager's job at Anfield - and revealed that senior players such as Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen will be consulted.

A string of coaches, including Charlton's Alan Curbishley and Kenny Dalglish, as well as Valencia's Rafael Benitez, have been linked with the position since Gérard Houllier's exit last week. Parry, though, played down suggestions that the Liverpool board have earmarked a successor.

"We did not want any of the muddying of the waters or the indignity of clandestine talks taking place while Gérard was still around, so we start now," Parry said. "One of the advantages of spending a few days away is that I get a clear head and perhaps a bit of time away from the phone to think it through."

Parry said senior Anfield players like Gerrard and Owen will be consulted over who should replace Houllier.

"I think there will be some dialogue with senior players," said Parry. "Not so much in terms of do you like this individual or that individual, but in terms of what they see as being their qualities. That's not letting the players pick the manager at all, but it strikes me as being immense common sense for the senior players to have a degree of input as to where they see the club is going.

"The criterion has to be who is most likely to help us become a challenger."

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