We haven’t had an announcement as protracted and messy since….well since the England World Cup squad debacle.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is on the verge of leaving the club, BBC Sport understands.
Benitez will be offered a multi-million pound severance deal to quit Anfield and could depart by the weekend.
The 50-year-old signed a five-year contract in March 2009, but failed to deliver success last season as the club missed out a Champions League place.
Liverpool are £351m in debt and were earlier this year placed up for sale by co-owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
The ownership of the club by the American pair has drawn protests from Liverpool fans and news of Benitez’s impending departure will also lead to question marks over the futures of several key players.
Captain Steven Gerrard, star forward Fernando Torres and Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano have all recently being linked with summer moves elsewhere.
BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan said: “The board are in discussions with the manager about him leaving immediately. He is now certain to leave,” added Roan.
“A severance deal has been offered to Benitez and it is worth significantly more than the £3m that has been reported – he is entitled to £16m as a result of the contract he signed last year.
“The club are concerned that details being leaked out could undermine the severance deal, but significantly no replacement for Benitez has so far been approached, but that process is sure to begin shortly.”
Roan added: “Benitez is currently on holiday but if he decides to accept their offer he could be out by the weekend.” (BBC Sport)
This is like death by a thousand very small paper cuts. Clearly we are getting to the business end of this now and it could be that we are down to the brass tacks. Is Rafa really going to Inter Milan though, or is that wishful thinking? It does appear that Benitez is about to leave and whilst its true he took us through some great moments the time is probably right for all concerned that he leaves, he clearly has no faith in the Anfield owners, and I wouldn’t blame him for having had enough.
For some very odd and very obvious reason we think the video below is apt to the extreme.