London: Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish has been asked to find Rafael Benitez`s successor as Liverpool manager, with Roy Hodgson and Martin O`Neill among the frontrunners.
A newspaper reported that Benitez accepted a severance payoff worth a maximum six million pounds from Liverpool`s co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, to end a six-year reign that polarised opinion at Anfield.
Dalglish, who is now club ambassador, will assist the managing director, Christian Purslow, in the search of a manager, who can restore Liverpool`s Champions League status on a limited budget and convince leading players such as Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano not to quit Anfield.
Hicks and Gillett are struggling to find a buyer willing to meet their 600 million-800 million pounds price, but Anfield officials insist they will not rush a decision and can install a long-term appointment.
Hodgson, who has many admirers at Anfield, is the frontrunner with his European pedigree and recent success at Fulham.
The 62-year-old former Internazionale, Switzerland and Blackburn Rovers manager is on a 12-month rolling contract at Craven Cottage and Liverpool are confident he would be receptive to their advances, despite insisting he was fully committed to Fulham after last month`s Europa League final defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Benitez, who is on holiday in Sardinia, said: "It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC. I would like to thank all of the staff and players for their efforts. I`ll always keep in my heart the good times I`ve had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You`ll never walk alone."