RAFAEL BENITEZ’S new five-year contract is likely to spark a rush of new deals for several of the club’s top stars.
The Liverpool chief ended months of bitter wrangling over his future by signing a new contract to keep him at Anfield until 2014.
But, while Benitez has been in talks with co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, many of his top stars have put their own futures on hold.
Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt admits he was advised to wait until Benitez’s own deal had been concluded before opening negotiations.
And Danish defender Daniel Agger’s new contract seemed to have stalled some weeks ago.
There could also be likely new deals for striker Fernando Torres, skipper Steven Gerrard and goalkeeper Jose Reina.
Benitez now has control over the club’s transfer budget – one of the concessions he insisted on in his new deal – and that should allow him to secure the long-term futures of several star names.
And he will almost certainly now make another bid this summer to bring Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry to the club, having failed to do so last summer.