LIVERPOOL have parted company with assistant manager Sammy Lee, with Steve Clarke tipped to take over as Kenny Dalglish’s number two.
The 52-year-old Lee has already been linked with a role as first-team coach at West Ham, where he would team up once more with former boss Sam Allardyce.
After 11 years as part of the Anfield coaching staff between 1993 and 2004, Lee departed to take a full-time role under Sven-Goran Eriksson with England, leaving in 2005 to become assistant to Allardyce at Bolton before a short, ill-fated stint as manager at the Reebok Stadium two years later.
It was Benitez who brought the former midfielder, who made 295 appearances for Liverpool in the 1980s, back to Merseyside in 2008, where he served as assistant to the Spaniard, and later Roy Hodgson and Dalglish.
But with Clarke’s arrival as first-team coach in January - one of Dalglish’s first acts as manager - Lee has found his role altered in the past few months, and this parting of the ways comes as little surprise - though the timing appears odd, with Liverpool’s players due to report back for pre-season training next week.
Clarke is favourite to take over as Dalglish’s right-hand man, having performed similar roles at Chelsea and West Ham in the past.
The 50-year-old has been credited with a vast improvement in the Anfield outfit’s defensive record since his arrival, and Dalglish has repeatedly spoken highly of the Scot’s coaching abilities.