Liverpool chief Parry jets to USA for crunch talks

The Daily Mail says it is understood Rafa Benitez's increasingly uncertain position has been added to the agenda and yesterday's 1-1 FA Cup draw at League One strugglers Luton is unlikely to have improved his standing.

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There are echoes of Jose Mourinho's downfall at Chelsea about the way Benitez has taken on a wealthy club owner in a power struggle and antagonised him by stubbornly refusing to climb down.

Like Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Tom Hicks, in particular, has taken exception to what he views as his manager overstepping the mark.

Matters came to a head when Hicks felt Javier Mascherano's £17million permanent transfer was being pushed through without due consultation and he responded by ordering Benitez to back off and concentrate on the players already at his disposal.

Benitez evidently believes the unwavering support of Liverpool's vast following will stand him in good stead.

There are even claims that Hicks and fellow co-owner George Gillett, beset by problems over financing a new stadium and with their own relationship strained, may look to sell up before having the chance to dismiss the manager.

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