Liverpool dismiss Rafa rumours

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow on Thursday dismissed reports that manager Rafael Benitez is on the verge of quitting Anfield.

Bookmakers in England suspended betting on his future prior to Wednesday's 4-0 victory over Stoke as speculation suggested the Spaniard was set to leave.

It was suggested that Benitez was ready to walk out after the Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the club's American owners, failed to give him a large enough transfer kitty.

Benitez has been told he has just two million pounds to buy defensive cover, with Greek centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos set to sign from AEK Athens.

But Purslow, who has joined the Reds to take over many of the duties of outgoing chief executive Rick Parry while a full-time replacement is found, has dismissed the conjecture.

"It's 1000 per cent rubbish. I had dinner with Rafa and the fact I had not heard the rumours should tell you everything about how true they are," he said in The Sun.

Benitez added: "I remain 100 per cent committed to the club, the fans and players."

Meanwhile, Benitez's assistant manager Sammy Lee has been charged by the Football Association with improper conduct after a clash with fourth official Stuart Attwell during the defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.

Lee was sent to the stands at White Hart Lane after complaining too strongly to Attwell over referee Phil Dowd's refusal to award Liverpool two penalties late in the match.

Dowd ruled that Benoit Assou-Ekotto's challenge on Andriy Voronin and a handball from Fernando Torres's cross were not spot-kicks.

"The decisions were very poor," Benitez said after the match. "Everyone could see the first one was a penalty. The second one was handball but we knew it would not be a penalty."

Lee has until August 26 to respond to the charges.