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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Hodgson's contract has takeover release clause

ESPNsoccernet can reveal that Roy Hodgson has a specific break clause in his Liverpool contract that allows the club to replace him if there is a change in ownership of the club.

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Hodgson signed the contract in the summer knowing that his future would be immediately on the agenda, with or without the 'escape clause' loaded on Liverpool's side.

However, ESPNsoccernet also understands that a pay-off is part of the same clause and Hodgson would expect to be compensated in full.

However, it can also be disclosed that the prospective new owners from the States have so far given no indication whatsoever about the future of Hodgson and the three man delegation from the owners of the Boston Red Sox parent company have yet to meet the manager. So far, though, the earlier indicators are that Hodgson will not be replaced.

The subject of Hodgson's future has not been part of the negotiations between New England Sports Venture (NESV) and chairman Martin Broughton.

A Liverpool spokesman said: "There's a commitment to the manager. They are very happy that this manager is the right person to take the club forward."

The present board appointed Hodgson, so would give him time to prove himself, but the attitude of the new owners so far unknown. However, past experiences show that new owners give the incumbent manager some time to prove himself before contemplating a change. How long that would be would depend on the results in the next few games.

An insider told ESPNsoccernet: "The new owners haven't met the manager yet, they are sure to want to sit down with him, talk to him and see if they can work with him.

"But in all the discussions it has never been raised, the issue of perhaps replacing the manager, it certainly hasn't come up in conversation."

Hodgson has welcomed news of the planned sale of the club.

"It's very positive and of course I'm delighted,'' he said. "It's been going on a long time and I know how hard the board have worked to set things up.

"I know it's not easy for them because the owners have other ideas in terms of the sale of the club and what is achievable.

"But I was delighted to hear the news and have it confirmed that it looks like it is going to go through.''

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