Rafael Benítez leaves Liverpool after accepting severance deal

By Michael Owen
rafael benitez

Benítez joined Liverpool in 2004

Rafael Benítez has left Liverpool by mutual consent after six years in charge at Anfield.

The club negotiated a deal with Benítez to end his time in charge of the Merseyside club. Benítez, who is currently on holiday in Sardinia, would have been entitled to up to £16 million if the board had decided to sack the former Valencia boss.

The severance package is reported to see the 50-year-old walk away with around £3m up front.

“It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC,” Benítez said. “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.”

A statement on Liverpool’s official website read: “Liverpool FC today confirmed that Rafael Benitez is to leave the club by mutual consent.”

“The Board has now asked Managing Director Christian Purslow, with the assistance of Club Ambassador Kenny Dalglish, to begin a formal search to identify and assess potential candidates for the managerial position.”

LFC Chairman Martin Broughton said: “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.”

According to reports, Champions League winners Inter Milan will now renew their interest in the Spanish manager.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson and Bayern Munich boss Louis van Gaal are believed to top a shortlist of managers who Liverpool would like to appoint to replace Benítez, but a turbulent ownership situation and bleak finances may stop the Premier League club from clinching a deal with either of the pair.

Sources close to the club have also suggested the Reds may look to make a temporary appointment until a long-term candidate for the managerial position can be found, a decision which could prove costly to the club with a crucial transfer window opening in less than a month’s time.

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