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Benitez 'rejects' new Liverpool deal

  • Story Highlights
  • Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez reportedly rejects latest contract offer
  • Benitez wants final say in transfer deals and running the academy
  • 48-year-old Spaniard has been at charge at Anfield since 2004
  • Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks confident disagreements can be ironed out
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(CNN) -- Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has rejected the terms of a new contract at the Premier League leaders, according to a report.

Benitez is locked in negotiations with Hicks and Gillett over a new deal.

Benitez is locked in negotiations with Hicks and Gillett over a new deal.

The Spaniard has less than 18 months remaining on his current deal but is refusing to commit to what is currently on offer from American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks.

Benitez aired his grievances in the authoritative local newspaper the Liverpool Echo on Friday.

"The owners feel that the manager's decisions need to be subject to the chief executive (Rick Parry)," he was quoted.

"But I know that I am subject to results and to our fans and they are the best judges I will ever have."

Benitez, who is currently recovering from a kidney stones problem, has featured heavily in the media in recent weeks, launching an outspoken attack on Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and now apparently lifting the veil on his ongoing negotiations.

"This is solely about being allowed to manage Liverpool football club to the best of my abilities as I see them," he added.

"I believe that this club has the potential to improve -- and I just want to be able to help this to happen."

Benitez was at pains to say that he was not in dispute with the owners over the financial terms and length of his new contract, but wanted total control over transfers and the running of the club's youth academy.

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The contract talks are set to dominate the build up to Liverpool's crucial Merseyside derby against Everton on Monday as the Premier League title race reaches a crucial stage.

Hicks later told Sky Sports News that they would be talking again soon with Benitez and was confident that an agreement would be reached.

"Liverpool fans can relax he will be with us for the next five years," he said.

Benitez, 48, took charge at Liverpool in 2004 after leading Valencia to title success in Spain.

He guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005, but success has eluded the Reds in the Premier League.

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