Hicks ready to back Liverpool boss Benitez market plans

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks is ready to bankroll a summer spending spree for manager Rafa Benitez.

The Times says the two met on Tuesday morning and again yesterday, with Hicks promising to support Benitez in his pursuit of potential reinforcements such as Gareth Barry, the Aston Villa captain.

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The Texan and his son, Tom Jr, a fellow director, returned to Melwood yesterday morning, when they held further conversations with Benitez, listening to his well-documented frustrations and discussing potential transfer targets and how any such moves would be financed.

"We had a great meeting," Hicks said before yesterday's second discussion. "We talked about a lot of things and it was very positive and encouraging. We have agreed to meet again and it is a very healthy situation. Rafa is happy and wants to talk about where he is taking the club."

Benitez has a list of potential summer targets, including Barry, whose arrival would cast serious doubts about the future of Xabi Alonso at Anfield. Other targets include a right back, at least one winger and several promising young players.

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