Reds in no rush to replace Rafa

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Liverpool have set no deadline on their search for a new manager following the departure of Rafael Benitez.

The Champions League-winning Spaniard parted company with the Reds by mutual consent on Thursday after six years at the Anfield helm.

Benitez is thought to have agreed a £6million compensation package and attention will now turn to the identity of his successor with Martin O'Neill and Roy Hodgson, managers of Aston Villa and Fulham respectively, among the favourites - while Guus Hiddink, despite his recent appointment as the Turkish national team coach, is also in the frame.

50-year-old Benitez had four years remaining on his contract but has paid the price for the club's disappointing 2009-10 season, in which they finished a disappointing seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

With owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett planning to sell the club, former Reds boss Kenny Dalglish, now an Academy ambassador, could also be a short-term option.

The club have already said Anfield legend Dalglish, manager from 1985-91, will assist managing director Christian Purslow in the recruitment process.

Installing the 59-year-old Scot, widely regarded as the club's greatest ever player, would at least be popular with supporters at a time when confidence in the hierarchy is low.

Fans gathered in numbers on Thursday night to protest against Hicks and Gillett and the regime which has saddled the club with a debt of £351million.

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