Rafael Benitez's representatives have put in place a detailed framework with Juventus which would enable the Spaniard to settle straight into a Serie A role should he part company with Liverpool this summer.
No decision is expected on the Liverpool manager's future for at least 10 days and developments both at Anfield and the Bernabeu are likely to dictate whether he does find himself in Turin's Stadio Olimpico, but a £4m a year salary, before tax, has been agreed between Juventus and Benitez's agent Manuel Garcia Quilon, according to reports in Italy yesterday.
Sources suggest that there is as yet no agreement over whether Juventus would need to pay out the entire four years left on Benitez's Liverpool contract or three years, with a one-year golden handshake for Benitez.
But the prospect of Benitez leaving Anfield is certainly strong enough for precise details to have been outlined on which back-room staff Benitez would take with him. Mauricio Pellegrino, Liverpool's first-team coach, Eduardo Macia, one of Benitez's two first-team scouts, and Paco de Miguel, his first-team fitness coach, are understood to be those who would move with Benitez who, according to reports in Italy, has agreed to a reduction in the list of staff he would bring to Turin from 12 to six.
It is understood that three Italians would join Benitez's coaching entourage – Antonio Pintus, the West Ham fitness coach brought to Britain by Gianluca Vialli, then at Chelsea, and who joined Gianfranco Zola after a spell at Monaco, Mauro Pederzoli and Amedeo Carboni – all of whom have connections with Benitez. Benitez remains the overwhelming choice of the Italian club's power brokers to replace Alberto Zaccheroni, now that Cesare Prandelli has made it clear he does not intend to leave Fiorentina.
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