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Reds - Business as usual

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Last Updated: 26/02/09 9:12am

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Benitez: Business as usual

Benitez: Business as usual

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Sky Sports News understands it is 'business as usual' for Liverpool following rumours about Rafa Benitez's future.

Bet on Football Sky Bet have cut Rafa Benitez's odds of vacating the Liverpool hotseat by the start of next season following a flurry of bets on the Spaniard's departure. They have also chalked up former boss Kenny Dalgilsh as a 3/1 shot to succeed the Spaniard. Click here for more.

Leading bookmakers had suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to go market amid speculation Benitez could leave his position as Reds manager after Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League tie at Real Madrid.

Benitez is also odds-on not to be in charge at Anfield for the start of next season as talks regarding a contract extension continue to stall.

The Spaniard's current deal expires at the end of next term and he has yet to agree a control to prolong his tenure on Merseyside.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of the last 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu, Benitez stated that the game against Real would have no bearing on his future.

Reports claimed that knocking Real out of the Champions League would strengthen his position, but Benitez suggested it would be wrong to judge a manager on the basis of two games.

Ridiculous

And Sky Sports News sources understands that Liverpool's final preparations for the game, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 2, have continued as normal.

A source close to the club said: "Rafa is not going to be sacked, such suggestions are ridiculous.

"We are aware of the rumours and speculation that has been buzzing around in Madrid but it is just not true.

"This has not bothered the manager or the team. Everything we have done since we arrived in Madrid has been spot on.

"Nobody has even mentioned this and we are surprised that such suggestions have been raised. Rafa Benitez is not about to be sacked by Liverpool."

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