Liverpool begin search as Benitez is forced out
By Football Talk.
Rafa Benitez has left Liverpool by mutual consent after a severance package was agreed on Thursday, ending a 6-year stay at Anfield. News broke on Tuesday that talks were under way to find an amicable agreement for Benitez to leave the club with an initial £3m offer rejected by the Spaniard’s camp. However, yesterday an offer believed to be in the region of £6m was accepted and Benitez has now left the club.
The Spanish tactician came under increasing pressure after a disappointing season which saw Liverpool finish seventh in the league and get knocked out of the Champions League group stages as well as in the early rounds of both domestic cups. Strained relationships with owners Hicks and Gillet have finally seen Benitez head for the exit doors, with rumours circulating that the board felt they had to force Rafa out or face the possibility of unsettling Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
It is thought that although the official line is Benitez left ‘by mutual consent’, the reality is that he was forced out. Rafa wanted to stay on and have another go at bringing success to Anfield despite feeling he had his hands tied due to tight financial restrictions at the club. Benitez told Liverpool’s official website:
“It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC. I would like to thank all of the staff and players for their efforts.
“I’ll always keep in my heart the good times I’ve had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool.
“I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager.
“Thank you so much once more and always remember: You’ll never walk alone.”
The club will now begin their search for a new manager with several names already being linked, including Martin O’Neill, Mark Hughes, Roy Hodgson and Guus Hiddink. Reds chairman Martin Broughton hailed Benitez but admitted it was time for a fresh start.
“Rafa will forever be part of Liverpool folklore after bringing home the Champions League following the epic final in Istanbul but after a disappointing season both parties felt a fresh start would be best for all concerned.”
How do Liverpool fans feel about Benitez’s departure?
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