Benitez hopes for clear-the-air Liverpool talks

The Anfield boss, with his position strengthened by the Champions League victory over Porto, experienced a week of acrimony with owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett that threatened his job.

But Benitez, while being careful not to upset the Americans with his transfer kitty demands, said: "I would hope to speak to the owners before the Manchester United game.

"I don't know if that is possible but we will try. But I don't know for sure."

His answer to a question regarding whether he still had a January shopping list was met with the now familiar line: "I am enjoying this result and concentrating on coaching and training my players."

But Benitez, who has stopped short of apologising in public for his outbursts, was prepared to underline his own stance.

He added: "My relationship with them was good before. Now we need to talk about what the problem was and move on.

"Maybe my English is not that good, maybe that was the problem. But it is clear we have to understand the situation and talk to each other.

"We must decide what is best for the future of the club, we can manage that. We will, I am sure, try to do that.

"I prefer only to say that as a manager you can only think about your squad. So January is nearly here and next summer is close also.

"So you must do your job, and I was trying to do this. Maybe we should talk now and analyse the situation. But I only want to talk, it is easier to talk face to face rather than to send e-mails or talk by phone."

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