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Liverpool's Benitez convinced he's dead man walking

And the Kop boss could get the elbow as soon as next month if Liverpool crash out of the Champions League.

A close friend of Benitez told the News of the World: "There was no talk of a new contract when Rafa met with the owners last month.

"He also knows there will be very little money for him this month to buy the centre-half that he believes he needs.

"There is also the problem of Javier Mascherano. He will not sign because he does not know whether the manager is going to be there this season, let alone next.

"Manchester United and Arsenal are bringing in over £2million per home game, while Chelsea can turn to Roman Abramovich. Liverpool don't have the cash to live with them.

"Rafa wants to stay but now he believes he will be sacked because the owners have not shown they will back him."

Benitez's current deal has another two years to run but the Spaniard already appears to be making plans to leave.

He has been linked with the Bayern Munich job and sources in Spain claim Benitez's representatives have been sounded out by Real Madrid.

Defeat to Inter Milan next month would virtually seal Benitez's fate with the owners, especially after the Liverpool manager's latest dig.

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