Liverpool's Hicks to challenge Gillett over Benitez plans

Tom Hicks may thrown down the public gauntlet to Liverpool co-owner George Gillett by demanding if his partner's long-term plans include Rafa Benitez.

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The Guardian says Benitez has been in frequent email contact with the Americans since Hicks demanded the resignation of Rick Parry last week and revealed, to the alleged surprise of Benitez, that the chief executive had been present at a meeting with the manager's potential successor, the now Bayern Munich-bound Jurgen Klinsmann.

Hicks intends to intensify efforts to oust Parry and secure majority control of Liverpool by pressuring Gillett to reveal his views on Benítez's continued presence at Anfield. The Spaniard, unsurprisingly, also wants clarification on the matter from the co-chairman before the ownership saga is resolved.

Hicks has declared he wants Benitez in charge should he gain full control of Liverpool. The American is also believed to be willing to give him greater influence over transfers.

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