Rafael Benitez's future as manager of Liverpool looks more uncertain than ever after leading bookmakers suspended all bets on him leaving the club.
The Spaniard has been locked in talks over a new contract in recent months and surprised the clubís hierarchy by rejecting a fifth draft of the deal over the weekend. The news comes hours before his team take on Real Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League in the Bernebeu.
Liverpoolís league slump in recent weeks has coincided with the public dispute over Benitezís contract talks. Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr, the clubís American owners, have bowed to his requests for more control over transfer policy and the youth academy, however, sticking points remain about the job security of his backroom staff and his concern at the delays in the decision-making process, given the dysfunctional relationship between the owners.
Sources close to Benitez say that he is committed to staying at Anfield and that he is determined to iron out the problems that he believes make his job more difficult than it should be.
Rupert Adams, a spokesman for William Hill, said: "We are slightly jumpy after being turned over by the recent Weymouth coup but the level of interest on Rafa getting the sack is unprecedented with over 300 calls logged today alone.
"We would be very surprised if he s still the Liverpool boss by midnight on Sunday."
Meanwhile Sky Bet have already installed Kenny Dalglish as 3/1 favourite to be Liverpool manager at the start of next season.