Liverpool & Benitez to part ways?


LONDON, June 3- Liverpool have offered coach Rafael Benitez a three million pounds (4.5 million dollars) deal paving the way for the Spaniard to leave the club in the summer, The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.The report said the club’s board had proposed the deal to ease Benitez out after a disappointing season that saw the five-time European champions place seventh in the Premier League, missing out on lucrative Champions League qualification.

Benitez would normally be entitled to 16 million pounds in compensation for leaving early, having signed a five-year contract only in March of last year.

But with reported debts of 351 million pounds, Liverpool will not be able to manage that much and hopes of a compromise appear to be founded on the belief that the coach might walk if the club will not commit to major summer investment on new players.

The Times reported that the proposed budget for new blood will be just 15 million pounds — far short of what Benitez says he needs to take the club that he led to Champions League glory in 2005 to a higher level.

The paper added Benitez could be tempted to move to the post at freshly-crowned European champions Inter Milan after Jose Mourinho’s switch to Real Madrid.

Mourinho is now believed top be targeting a swoop for Liverpool’s talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard.