Valencia president Jaime Orti has issued a ‘hands-off’ warning to Liverpool after it was reported that the Premiership club were looking to appoint coach Rafael Benitez as Gerard Houllier’s successor.

Benitez has been linked with Liverpool following Monday’s departure frrom Anfield of Gerard Houllier, but Orti is adamant that Benitez will stay at the Mestella.

“He will coach Valencia next season. I don’t think these rumours have any substance,’ said Orti.

“He has one more year left on his contract with Valencia and our intention is to extend our relationship with him even further.”

It has been suggested that Benitez is using the current speculation as a bargaining tool to extract a better deal from Valencia.