Football

Benitez stands firm over contract

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Rafael Benitez's power struggle with the Liverpool hierarchy looks set to rumble on for some time after the Reds boss expressed his unhappiness with negotiations.

The Spaniard, who has 18 months left on his contract, has turned down a new deal after co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett rejected his demands for complete control of transfers.

"The first time they told me they wanted to talk about an extension I told them I wanted to do it in one week," said the Liverpool manager. "To do it for two months was not my idea and I don't want to do this so now I will finish and we will concentrate on football."

He added: "I was in contact with the owners with what was my idea and I explained why. I don't have any problems with the owners."

Despite having already agreed the length of contract and salary, the considerable stumbling block remains over Benitez having the final say on detailed financial issues like spending, wages and terms and conditions.

The final decision on such matters currently rests with chief executive Rick Parry but Benitez is still angry at the club's failure to secure the transfer of midfielder Gareth Barry from Aston Villa in the summer.

That, and the fact the club have emerged as genuine Barclays Premier League title contenders this season, persuaded the manager to push for a more far-reaching role.

He feels he is now in a position of strength in which to force the change through but his attempts have so far been rebuffed by the American owners, who remain confident Benitez will extend his stay at Anfield.

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Topics:
Football
Gareth Barry
Premier League
Aston Villa
Liverpool

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