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Page last updated at 20:04 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 21:04 UK

Rafael Benitez keen to stay on as Liverpool manager

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
Benitez has been linked with a move to Italian club Juventus for next season

Rafael Benitez wants to stay on as Liverpool manager next season but admits doubts remain over his future.

The Spaniard had his first meeting with new chairman Martin Broughton this week and another is scheduled for Wednesday.

Benitez saw his side complete a poor season with a 0-0 draw at Hull, meaning the Reds end seventh in the league - their worst finish in 11 years.

"I wanted to stay and would like to stay if everything is fine. It would not be easy to leave," he said.

"I was in a meeting with the chairman and he was talking about how positive it was. I expect to meet with him again in the next week.

"It has always been the same situation: I decided to come here because of the fans and the club."

Benitez, who has four years left on the contract he signed last summer, has endured a tough season on and off the pitch.

In November he said he was sure of guiding Liverpool to a top-four finish in the Premier League, but the 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea on 2 May ended the chance of that happening.

As a result, the Merseysiders will be without Champions League football next season - the first time since 2002-03.

The Reds made an early exit from both the Champions League and FA Cup, and their last chance for silverware ended at the end of April when they lost to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.

606: DEBATE

As well as their on-field struggles, Liverpool's season has been overshadowed by continued speculation about the future ownership of the club, which came to a head in April when owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett said they would be looking to sell.

Media reports have also suggested that star players Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard could be sold in the summer to raise much-needed funds for new players.

At the final whistle at the KC Stadium, Gerrard battled his way through Hull fans streaming on to the pitch to go over to the Liverpool supporters.

Whether or not that is a farewell gesture from the captain remains to be seen but Benitez is adamant he will not be forced into selling his prize assets.

"If I stay I am not thinking about selling Gerrard and Torres - just in case 'senior sources' say different things," the Reds boss added.

"It is very clear. The chairman was clear, he doesn't want to sell. The manager is clear, just in case you see any exclusive interviews with senior sources."



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see also
Hull 0-0 Liverpool
09 May 10 |  Premier League
Debt 'will not force Torres sale'
08 May 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez delays talks over future
04 May 10 |  Liverpool
Under-fire Benitez set for talks
03 May 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
02 May 10 |  Premier League
Owners put Liverpool up for sale
16 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 'must improve academy'
30 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez wants overhaul at Anfield
29 Apr 10 |  Europe
Liverpool 2-1 Atletico (agg 2-2)
29 Apr 10 |  Europe
New Reds chief backs boss Benitez
16 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez admits Liverpool mistakes
07 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez dismisses Juventus deal
31 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez sure of top-four finish
21 Nov 09 |  Liverpool
Benitez signs long-term Reds deal
18 Mar 09 |  Liverpool


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