( dpa ) - Rafa Benitez's future as manager of the Liverpool football club was plunged into further doubt Monday as one of the club's co-owners, Tom Hicks, confirmed that he had lined up a move for Jurgen Klinsmann before the former Germany striker accepted an offer from Bayern Munich.
Klinsmann was revealed as successor to Ottmar Hitzfeld at Bayern last week - he will take over in the summer - and intimated then that Liverpool had made contact.
Benitez has been under pressure all season as his side have under-performed in the league, and he fell out with Hicks and his fellow owner George Gillett over their January transfer policy.
"We attempted to negotiate an option, as an insurance policy, to have him (Klinsmann) become manager if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other clubs that were rumoured in the UK press," Hicks confirmed in the Liverpool Echo.
"Or in case our communication spiralled out of control for some reason."
Benitez has consistently played down speculation about his future, although sources close to him have admitted he feels he is a dead man walking.
"After George and I had our long and productive meeting with Rafa following the Man United match, we put all of our issues behind us and received Rafa's commitment that he wanted to stay with Liverpool," Hicks added.
"We never reached agreement on an option with Jurgen, and we are both pleased for him that he has a great opportunity to return to Germany and coach a great club team.
"Rafa has both of our support, and our communication has greatly improved."