Benitez demands talks with owners

Manchester, April 15:

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is demanding showdown talks with the club’s arguing owners over their approach to former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann last year.

Reds co-owner Tom Hicks said on Sunday that his estranged partner George Gillett Jr and chief executive Rick Parry had instigated the meeting with Klinsmann as a possible replacement for Benitez. Benitez was shocked to learn that Parry was at the meeting.

“It’s not the first time I knew about the meeting, but (it is) about the people that were in the meeting,” Benitez said. “I feel my position is being undermined and that is why I want to clarify the situation.” Benitez, who has been promised an extended contract by Hicks, wants the issue resolved before Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final match against Chelsea next week.

Benitez is also insisting on the feuding parties getting together to tell him the truth to his face. “I will talk with the board about this as soon as possible, today (Sunday) or tomorrow,” he said. “I need to resolve questions and I want some answers. I want to clarify things.” Hicks has mostly been blamed by Liverpool fans’ anger over the approach.

Liverpool’s star striker Fernando Torres doesn’t want his compatriot replaced. “I think that Benitez is going to be at Liverpool for a long time,” Torres told Spanish radio station Marca FM.