It's now a matter of when not if the Spanish boss leaves Anfield and that's expected to be sooner rather than later.
Despite his epic Anfield bust-ups while at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho tops a wanted list already being assembled by the owners.
An approach will be made once Benitez's departure is confirmed.
After victory at Newcastle, Benitez said: "I have passion for this club. The fans who were with me in Istanbul know what it means to me."
With no resignation on the horizon, Hicks and Gillett are now ready to swing their axe regardless of Liverpool's league placing or Champions League progress.