Hicks: Liverpool discussing transfer plans with Rafa

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The Spaniard's position had been undermined after Hicks confirmed he had sounded out Jurgen Klinsmann as a possible replacement if Benitez were to leave.

Hicks said: "Since the meeting with Rafa in December, he has been assured he has continuing and enthusiastic support as the club's manager.

"Reflecting that support, we recently approved his transfer payment request to sign Martin Skrtel for £6.5m and are in discussions regarding additional player signings this summer.

"Rafa is under contract for two more seasons following this one. I am solidly behind Rafa and am confident of the team's competitive prospects under his continuing leadership."