At this point surely the only thing keeping Rafa at Liverpool is the size of the compensation package that would be owed to the Liverpool manager and his staff. That Wednesday's result was seen less as an upset but more an inevitable outcome speaks volumes.
However as has been pointed out by numerous members of the media and fans alike, Liverpool are in a poor financial position. Enter Manchester City. If Ronaldo is worth 80 million pounds then Torres is surely worth 100 million. Such a sum would allow Liverpool to rebuild their defense and add another striker or two into the mix. The kicker, as it were, is City's financial clout. The club could offer an additional amount, over and above the transfer fee, to pay off the cost of Benitez and his staff. Say for example that the package would cost 30 million to remove them, then City could offer 130 million for Torres.
It wouldn't be presented like that of course. All I'm saying is if the only thing holding back a change at Liverpool is financial considerations then lets leverage that for City's benefit.
And the timing is perfect. With Torres injured and out a reported six weeks and both Gerrard and Benayoun sidelined as well Liverpool have a very slim chance of reclaiming a Champions League spot.
The problem of course is that City are the most logical rival for that fourth spot in the Champions League. In selling Torres, even an injured Torres who will not be back at full playing speed for at least two months, does Liverpool provide the ammunition to prevent themselves moving back up to fourth?
The Liverpool owners have talked about spending money in the summer. If they can and if, crucially, they can keep revenue flowing with either Europa League football or no European football at all next season then I don't think things are as dire at Liverpool as commentators are suggesting.
Up front, the pick up of Maxi Rodriguez appears on the surface to have been a fine piece of business. Certainly the back line needs to be rebuilt, anyone who thinks Glen Johnson is worth 1.8 million never mind 18 million is out of their mind. As I noted in the Hughes era, there are some quality bargains, as it were, to be found in the Bundesliga and three or four imports could quickly turn Liverpool around.
This is no doubt the discussion going on within Liverpool at the moment. That is, exactly how close are they to being able to right this ship?
What if Liverpool brought in Phillip Lahm, Per Mertesacker and either Mats Humels or Benedikt Howedes? Additionally throw in one additional striker to that and the current squad and Liverpool are not just challenging for a Champions League spot but the title. Can you get the five or so players that Liverpool need under the current constraints or does Torres go? The deal for Maxi shows creativity can get the job done.
City have the money. Time I think to test the resolve of the Liverpool owners. Do they in Rafa trust?