x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Benitez wants to stay at Anfield, says his agent

Liverpool manager has had no offers from Italy or Spain despite media speculation linking him to Turin.

Rafael Benitez has not had any offers from Juventus or any other club and wants to stay at Anfield, his agent claims. Media speculation in England and Italy has linked the Liverpool manager with a move to Turin and the 50-year-old is believed to be the No 1 candidate to succeed Alberto Zaccheroni this summer. Benitez is also a reported target of Real Madrid, but his agent yesterday insisted the Spaniard does not intend to leave Liverpool.

"We have not received any offers from any club," Manuel Garcia Quilon said. "Benitez's aim is to remain at Liverpool and try to help the team improve with new owners. "He is under contract and his wish is to remain at Liverpool." The Spaniard, whose Anfield deal runs until June 2014, has a meeting scheduled with Martin Broughton, the new Liverpool chairman, this week to discuss the plans being put in place for next season.

Broughton, the chairman of British Airways, has been brought in by Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the co-owners, to oversee the sale of the club. Last weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea ended Liverpool's hopes of playing in the Champions League next season. Juve will also miss out on playing in Europe's elite club competition as they have no chance of finishing in the top four in Serie A. Much to the chagrin of their supporters, Liverpool are not involved in the title race which goes down to the wire this weekend.

Wigan inadvertently are and Roberto Martinez, their manager, says his side will try to win at Chelsea on the final day of the season - but for themselves, not Manchester United. Having condemned Hull to relegation on Monday with a 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium, Wigan could now have a major say in the title race when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Wigan have already beaten the Blues at home this term and Martinez believes his players can pull off another shock against the table-toppers, something second-placed United will certainly be hoping is the case.

However, Martinez has stressed that his team - who secured top-flight survival more than a week ago - will not be motivated by the prospect of doing their north-west neighbours a favour. "It is not that Wigan Athletic is going to play for Manchester United. We will play for the good of football and for ourselves," Martinez said. "It is a unique experience to go to Stamford Bridge having the world of football watching.

"We have got nothing to lose, but I can guarantee you that there is a belief in the squad that on the day we can compete with anyone, and that is the approach we are going to have. We are going to go to Stamford Bridge to try to win the game." Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, insists he is not concerned about the threat of Tottenham, the arch-rivals, denying his side third place.

Should Spurs win their remaining two matches - against Manchester City tonight and Burnley on Sunday - and the Gunners lose at home to Fulham on Sunday, Arsenal would suffer the ignominy of finishing below their London neighbours. However, Wenger has dismissed such a scenario. "I believe we do not have to worry about Tottenham or Manchester City - we have to worry about us and finish the season well," said the Frenchman, whose side have lost at the Emirates Stadium just twice this season. Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he talked Paul Scholes, the Manchester United midfielder, out of retiring before he signed a one-year contract.

"He'd intimated that he may retire at the end of the season," Ferguson told Inside United. "I said, 'I'll decide when you retire ... look, Paul, you can play there's no question of that. "Your ability's there, there's no deterioration in your actual play." * PA