Liverpool is main priority for Benitez

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has dismissed speculation about his future by insisting the real issue is on the pitch.

The Reds host Portsmouth at Anfield looking to close the gap on Barclays Premier League fourth-placed team Tottenham. In the wake of two defeats - to Wigan a week ago and Lille in the Europa League on Thursday - Benitez's long-term future at the club was called into question again.

But the Spaniard insists the only thing which matters is returning to winning ways, saying: "The club is the most important thing, more than anyone. The most important thing is for everyone to try and do better and to improve performances."

He added: "I don't want people talking about me. It doesn't matter.

"The priority has to be to improve things on and off the pitch."

Matters off the pitch are in the headlines again after global investment firm the Rhone Group made a £100million-plus cash offer for a 40% share in the club, money which would be used to reduce the club's £237million debt by almost half.

Benitez said it was important to get the right deal - and the right investors - for Liverpool.

"My concern is about the future of the club, not one bad season," Benitez told the Liverpool Echo.

"The people who come in have to be the right people for the club.

"We have to take things forward for the good of the club and every day we are working hard."

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