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Rafael Benitez has appealed to Liverpool’s American owners to give him more time to continue his work at the club, despite their reservations about the team’s progress.

George Gillett and Tom Hicks were having talks last night with the chief executive Rick Parry amid growing speculation that Benitez is not a part of their long-term plans for the club.

“I don’t know how many times I have to say this before certain people believe me,” said an exasperated Benítez.

“But I will say it again because it is really important that everyone understands this – I love the club, I love the fans, I love the city and I am very, very happy here. I do not see my future at Real Madrid or Inter Milan or anywhere else. I see my future at Liverpool and this is where I want to stay.”

The Spaniard was speaking in response to reports that appeared in Sunday newspapers claiming he was fearful of being sacked.

“I was shocked when I was told about the stories in the Sunday papers,” he said. “To see my name linked with other clubs in such a manner really disappoints me. And the fact that the newspapers said that the stories had come from ‘a source close to me’ is what disappoints me most.

“All I can say is, no such quotes came from me and I know my friends well enough to know that they did not come from them. So I can only assume that the conversation I had with the journalists from the Sunday newspapers meant something different to them than me.

“The squad is the best it has been since I first came here and we have many young players who are going to get only better, so I have no wish to be at any other club. I want to be here this summer and many other summers after that.”

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