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Juventus to make official move for Benitez if Liverpool lose to Chelsea


Juventus are poised to make an official move for Rafa Benitez if Liverpool lose to Chelsea tomorrow.

The Italian giants will finally contact their Anfield rivals once the Reds’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are ended.

Juventus are certain that a deal to make Benitez their new boss can be tied up following the Spanish coach’s strongest hint yet that he will quit Merseyside.

After Liverpool’s Europa League semi-final defeat on Thursday, Benitez aggressively refused to offer any reassurances over his future. Instead he insisted that he had given it a year at Anfield after signing a new contract last season “only because of the fans”. Juventus have promised Benitez £80million to make new signings, and have also offered to match his current salary in England, but with better tax breaks.

Juventus are now convinced he will join them at the end of the season and speaking in the aftermath of the semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid, a clearly distressed Benitez said: “At the moment I cannot talk about the future long term.

“I want to win against Chelsea and then Hull, that’s it.”

In Italy, Juve have released details of contract talks which have already discussed – not only a budget for next season, but the identity of his backroom staff. The claim in Turin is that the deal is done.

Juve are also about to sign Brazilian midfielder Hernanes, a player Benitez was desperate to bring to Anfield. He is a 24-year-old international midfielder, who was voted Brazil’s player of the year last season.

And the Spaniard also spoke pointedly about having given it 12 months for the fans, after he signed a new five-year contract last season.

“I decided to stay last year because of the fans, and for one year I have been working very hard, trying to do my best and we will see what happens in the future,” added Benitez.

“If I’m here it is because of those fans.”