As a hugely disappointing season draws to an end, speculation is rife that Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will not be at the club at the start of next season.
Benitez has long been linked with Italian side Juventus, and a poor season on the pitch, as well Spaniard’s tempestuous relationship with the club’s American owners, has added fuel to the fire.
But new chairman Martin Broughton has publically backed Benitez, and it is by no means unlikely he will still be in charge in August.
Signing new players is not the work of a man on his way out. Milan Jovanovic and Jonjo Shelvey have both been confirmed as joining this summer, whilst Rangers’ Danny Wilson looks set to complete a move to Anfield in the near future.
Wilson and Shelvey are both bright young prospects, and demonstrate how Benitez is looking at building for the future.
He has also given some of his own current youngsters, such as Daniel Pacheco and Daniel Ayala, a chance towards the end of the season, as he looks to from an idea of his squad for the next campaign.
Whilst this isn’t exactly solid proof that Benitez will still be manager next season, it is certainly evidence that he has one eye on bringing fresh impetus to a side that has looked deflated in recent weeks.
Of course, Benitez could still go to Juventus, and these signings could be his final piece of influence in helping to rebuild the club.
But Rafa is a stubborn man, and he will want to put right the wrongs of this season.
As such, no-one should be shocked if he is still at the helm in August.
Written By Sean Mullan