Football - Liverpool FC: RAFAEL BENITEZ is set for a further meeting with Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton after a second round of talks failed to resolve the uncertainty surrounding his future.
Benitez met with Broughton on Monday to seek reassurances over the direction of the club, which co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are eager to sell.
The Anfield manager is keen to be handed significant funds to bolster a squad that could only finish seventh this season, Liverpool's lowest Premier League finish since 1999.
However, that is unlikely to happen unless there is a swift sale of the club, and although Broughton was last week confident a change in ownership could be secured in a “matter of months”, that may not be soon enough for the summer transfer window.
Broughton described Thursday's initial summit as a “frank exchange of views, constructive and very helpful” before promising neither Fernando Torres nor Steven Gerrard would be sold to service the club's mounting debt.
Speaking after Sunday's goalless draw at Hull City, Benitez said: “I want to stay if everything is fine.”
And with Monday's talks having ended without agreement over a number of key issues, a third meeting is planned in the coming days.
Benitez remains on the shortlist to become new manager at Juventus, although interest from the Serie A side is waning.
And elsewhere in Italy yesterday, Inter moved to deny reports they had approached the Spaniard as a possible replacement for Jose Mourinho, who is a target of Real Madrid.
A statement from Inter, who can clinch their domestic title this weekend ahead of the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 22, read: “With regards to what has been reported today by several Italian media, FC Internazionale underlines that absolutely no contact has been made with coaches – of other clubs or national teams – given that the club has a contract with Jose Mourinho until 2012, and that everybody is focused exclusively on the team's important upcoming commitments.”
Mourinho himself added: “I have never spoken with any club, and like all the Interisti I am only thinking about the matches with Siena and Bayern Munich.”
Meanwhile, Jack Robinson admits it was a “dream come true” after he became the youngest ever player in Liverpool's history on Sunday.
At the age of 16 years 250 days, Robinson's substitute appearance against Hull City ensured his place of ahead of Max Thompson, who was 17 years 129 days old when he was given his debut by Bill Shankly in 1974.
“It was an amazing feeling to get on and a very exciting moment,” said Robinson. “I only found out for certain that I was in the squad on Saturday morning but it was completely unexpected. It's a dream come true.
“Sammy Lee called me on Saturday and when he told me that I was going to be in the squad, I just went into shock. I couldn't speak because of the excitement.
“I knew it was going to be a great experience and just sitting on the bench would have been good enough but it became even better to get on.
“It was the first time that I have ever travelled with the squad and I'll never forget it; I still can't believe that I've made a little bit of history.”