Not quite sure where this Anfield rumour started but it seems pretty damned unlikely!
Italian daily Tuttosport claims that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is still Juventus’ number one target and that they want to conclude contract negotiations with him this month.
Benitez has been rumoured for some time to be a prime target to take charge of the Turin giants, who are planning a summer overhaul following a desperately disappointing season. Benitez’s Liverpool future has been under scrutiny for several months as the Reds have also endured a difficult season and the Anfield club is also experiencing financial difficulties.
Tuttosport claims that Benitez remains the preferred choice of Juventus chief Roberto Bettega with Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc next in line. Apparently, Benitez’s greater experience is the major factor in Juventus’ pursuit of the Anfield boss.
Tuttosport also speculates that Juventus officials are eager to finalize a deal for Benitez this month, as early as 15 April. The Turin club wants their man in place as soon as possible, in order to plan for next season.
Meanwhile, another Italian daily, Corriere dello Sport ran a poll to find out who Juventus fans want as the new coach. Liverpool manager Benitez was listed as one of the favourites alongside Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli and England boss Fabio Capello who proved to be the fans’ choice. (IMScouting)
Juventus are working on an ambitious move for Liverpool trio Rafael Benitez, Fernando Torres, and Javier Mascherano.
Il Corriere Dello Sport claims Juventus vice general director Roberto Bettega opened up dialogue with Benitez’s entourage in London last week.
The Italian used Juve’s trip to Fulham in the Europa League last week to get in touch with the Liverpool boss over a coaching role with the club for next season.
Bettega also wants Torres and Mascherano to join Benitez at Vinovo should a deal materialise.
The Spanish coach was linked with Juventus when Ciro Ferrara was ousted in January. (Goal.com)
On the scale of unlikely stories written about the potential comings and goings at Anfield this coming summer this one must score pretty damn highly. Its likelihood is very low indeed. The idea that Rafa Benitez would want to join a stricken club like Juventus, currently looking at a potential Serie A finish that would leave them without any European football whatsoever next season, is confusing to say the least.
The idea then that if the Spaniard did leave Liverpool for Turin that he could convince Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano to join him is ridiculous in the extreme. Now I can see one day coming when both players would leave Merseyside, not any time soon I hasten to add, but if they did leave it would almost certainly be to La Liga and nowhere else. Perhaps Inter Milan would be an outside option for the Argentine midfielder, but I see no reason at all why either player would join the Old Lady of Italian football.
Apparently Juventus are due a windfall when they rename their stadium to earn some mega bucks payout from sponsors but one would imagine that such a deal wouldn’t immediately be used to bring in new players, and I can’t see them having the kind of spending power to make these kinds of deals.
It does seem likely that Rafa will offer to fall on his sword if we fail to get fourth spot and it will be interesting to see what happens next. I am still confident we can get that coveted spot as I expect both Tottenham and Man City to drop more points, its a shame we couldn’t get all three points at St Andrews’ but we can still get fourth at a push.