Merseyside police investigate banner threatening Benitez

Former Liverpool manager could be set to assume the top job at fierce rivals Everton

 Rafael Benitez: former Liverpool manager is the favoured candidate of Everton’s  majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, to take the reins at Goodison Park. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Rafael Benitez: former Liverpool manager is the favoured candidate of Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, to take the reins at Goodison Park. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

 

Merseyside police are investigating after a banner threatening Rafael Benítez if he joins Everton was left near the former Liverpool manager’s family home.

A banner reading “We know where you live. Don’t sign” was placed close to the home Benítez shares with his wife and two daughters in Wirral – although police said it had been left outside the wrong address if it was aimed at the 61-year-old. Benítez and his family have lived in the area since his time with Liverpool.

Banners protesting against Benítez’s possible appointment as Everton manager were draped on Goodison Park when it emerged he was the favoured candidate of the majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri. But this represents a more sinister act. It is not known whether Benítez or his family saw the banner.

Detective Inspector Darren Taylor said: “This message has understandably caused some distress and worry for residents in the area. Due to the football language used, we suspect that it was aimed at Rafa Benítez – but whoever placed the message left it outside the wrong house.

“If anyone has information about who produced the banner or helped to put it up, please let us know as soon as possible.”

Benítez could be unveiled as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement this week having had several rounds of constructive talks with Moshiri. Contract details have been agreed in principle, with a three-year deal likely, and the make-up of his backroom team has been discussed.

Benítez faces widespread opposition to his appointment among Evertonians, although many have expressed anger at the banners since the images appeared on Monday on social media.

His strong Liverpool allegiances and description of Everton as a “small club” in 2007 mean he will have significant obstacles to overcome if, as expected, he is confirmed as Everton’s sixth permanent manager in five years. – Guardian

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