Benayoun celebrates 311 .
(photo credit: Associated Press)
LIVERPOOL (AP) – Yossi Benayoun is unsure if he has a future at Liverpool with the club facing an offseason of upheaval.
Liverpool’s owners are searching for someone to buy the club, and manager Rafa Benitez has repeatedly declined to say he will stay despite having only signed a long-term contract last season.
It’s been a miserable campaign for the 18-time English champions, who are seventh and will miss out on a spot in the Champions League next season after having finished runners-up in the Premier League last season.
“It’s very difficult to speak now about next season,” Benayoun said. “We don’t know what changes there will be – the players, the staff.”
That includes the 29-year-old Benayoun, who joined from West Ham in 2007 and signed a new deal last July that ties him to the club until 2013.
“I don’t know personally even if I will be here or if I will not be here next season,” Benayoun said.
“Liverpool is a great club and I enjoy it but a lot of things are happening in this moment and we will have to wait and see. I can’t say much.
“It’s nothing to do with Benitez’s future. I’m enjoying here at this moment. It’s a big club and if it was depending on me, I would stay and retire here in Liverpool... but it depends on a lot of other things and we will just have to see in a few weeks.”
Benitez is set to meet new chairman Martin Broughton, who has been hired by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. to oversee the sale process. Benayoun, like the fans, is hoping the meeting will clear up much of the uncertainty at Anfield.
“When you’re at a big club, it’s normal when things go bad it puts the pressure on the manager, because you cannot change all the players,” Benayoun said. “But there are people who decide. I don’t need to speak for Rafa because he’s proved himself during his time here that he’s a big manager. The people above will take the right decision for the club.”
Liverpool’s home campaign ended on a low note Sunday, with leader
Chelsea winning 2-0 to remain a point clear of Manchester United and
end the Reds’ hopes of making the Champions League.
Not only will that failure impact on the budget for new players, but it could make it more difficult to attract them.
even not playing in the Champions League, big names will still see
Liverpool as a good option, and hopefully some players will come and
help us,” midfielder Lucas Leiva said.