Juventus eyes Liverpool manager Benitez to replace Ferrara

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London, Jan 26(ANI): Italian football giants Juventus are eyeing Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez as the No 1 choice to succeed Ciro Ferrara, who will be sacked this week following a disappointing season so far.

Ferrara, who was made Claudio Ranieri's successor in August 2009, will still take charge of the team for Thursday's Coppa Italia clash against Inter Milan.

Despite Liverpool's erratic form this season, Juve club president Jean-Claude Blanc sees Benitez as the man to restore the Old Lady of Turin's flagging fortunes, The Sun reports.

Juventus's original target was former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink, but he has priced himself out of contention by demanding an 'emergency' payment of 3.5 million pounds and a long-term contract at seven million pounds a year.

Juve may struggle to match Benitez's four million pounds a year basic at Anfield under the terms of the five-year contract he signed last March, but his career Europe where he guided Valencia to two Spanish titles and a UEFA Cup triumph might make the officials think.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's hierarchy intend to review Benitez's position at the end of this season, one that has brought an early exit from the Champions League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and no Premier League title challenge, but cannot afford the maximum 16 million pound he could claim if sacked. (ANI)

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