Papers: Rafa on agenda at New York meeting

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Tuesday’s Newspaper Review

Another day and another morning newspaper sensing plans are already in operation regarding the future of Liverpool FC after Rafael Benitez is dismissed. The papers believe it is simple inevitable that club owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett will call time on the Spaniard’s Anfield reign at the end of the season. However surely the imminent signing of defender Martin Skrtel is a sign that the American owners have the faith in Benitez to invest wisely, strengthen the squad, and mount a serious title challenge. If not this season, then next’¦

But today’s The Times suggests former Germany international Jurgen Klinsmann is amongst Liverpool’s candidates to succeed Benitez.

It is not clear whether Liverpool have a serious interest in Klinsmann or if the 43-year-old would be prepared to turn his back on his life in California, where he works as vice-president for Soccer Solutions, a consultancy firm, but there have been indications from Germany that he is eager to return to management in Europe.

The Times’ Oliver Kay claims that a meeting in New York will take place today between Gillett and Hicks and chief executive Rick Parry. Meant to be regarding the new stadium, Kay believes the issue of Benitez’s career will be on the cards.

Rafael BenÍtez was close to securing a £6.5 million deal to sign Martin Skrtel, the Zenit St Petersburg defender, last night, but his long-term prospects as Liverpool manager appear bleaker than ever before a critical board meeting in New York today.

The future of BenÍtez is not officially on the agenda, but it is certain to be discussed, with sources indicating last night that the relationship between manager and board is more strained than ever and that a parting of the ways is only a matter of time.

The Daily Mail also hints at a move to secure Klinsmann’s services.

Sportsmail understands Liverpool’s American owners, in particular Gillett, see the German as an ideal choice should they finally run out of patience with Benitez over what is being viewed as more agitating by the former Valencia coach.

The Times also carries a piece with quotes from Havant & Waterlooville coach Shaun Gale. The Reds could face the non-league side if they beat Luton Town in next Tuesday’s FA Cup third round replay at Anfield and Havant & Waterlooville pull off victory over Swansea City.

‘œIt’s fantastic,’ Shaun Gale, the manager of the Blue Square South club, said. ‘œWe’ve got a tough tie getting past Swansea, but everyone was jumping around. It’s potentially something fantastic for the club, for me and for everyone connected. It’s been a fairy-tale. You see it every season and this year it’s been us and it’s great.’

Discuss the FA Cup Fourth Round draw with other fans here.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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