Hicks stepping up bid to buy-out Gillett's Liverpool share

Tom Hicks is stepping up efforts to buy out co-owner George Gillett's Liverpool stake.

The Mail on Sunday says Hicks is stepping up plans to raise £150million to buy out fellow American and Gillett and assume sole control of Anfield. If he succeeds, there will be winners and losers among leading figures at the club.

In a dramatic turnaround from his highly-publicised fallout with the club's owners last autumn, Reds boss Rafa Benitez sees himself as the biggest winner if Hicks succeeds in taking control.

The Spanish manager now believes it was Gillett rather than his new ally, Hicks, who was the driving force behind the move to lure Jurgen Klinsmann to the manager's chair.

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With one boss, Hicks, who believes in him, Benitez now seriously believes he can build a dynasty along the lines of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

If Hicks could raise sufficient private equity he would send his son, Tommy Hicks Jnr, to live on Merseyside and co-ordinate between Benitez, chief executive Rick Parry and Hicks himself.

From there his strategy would be simple: give Benitez a long-term deal and allow him full authority on team affairs while he looks after his speciality - building a new £400m stadium next to Anfield.

Benitez has even promised to be a good boy and not criticise his bosses in public, as he did in the autumn when he said Hicks and Gillett did not understand the transfer system. Now, he says: "It is not all about money. It is also about doing the right things. You don't have to spend as much money each year because your squad is already better.

"You have to find young players who are ready to come in when the older ones leave."

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