Brendan Rodgers has said he is unperturbed that Rafael Benítez may covet his job, insisting that Liverpool's owners, Fenway Sports Group, wanted a fresh start when they replaced Kenny Dalglish last summer.
The Liverpool manager believes Benítez broke an unwritten managerial rule in an interview with Marca this week, when the Chelsea interim manager said he would "certainly" return to Liverpool.
"I would not personally [speak about another manager's job]," said Rodgers. "I have never done it and I would never think to do it."
Benítez, however, is adamant that his words referred to the city – his family still live in Wirral – and not the club he served for six years before being replaced by Roy Hodgson in 2010.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea's Europa League tie against Rubin Kazan on Wednesday, Benítez explained: "My family is in Liverpool, and that is my home. So hopefully I can come back to Liverpool any time. That is sure. Just to clarify: I'm talking about my home and my family, not the club. I have to go back there next week because we play against Liverpool."
Rodgers was well aware of Benítez's interest in a return to Liverpool last summer, and of the popular support that the Spaniard retains at the club where he won the Champions League and FA Cup.
"I do not know him personally," said the Liverpool manager. "Obviously it sounds like before I came here and while I was here he would love to have the job here. He has made that perfectly clear. I hope that won't be for a long time because I hope to be here a long time and offer the club stability and we'll move forward as one club."
The Liverpool manager said that his arrival from Swansea City demonstrated the owner's desire to start anew. "The opportunity was there last summer if the owners wanted to go down that route. Rafa was unemployed but they wanted to grow the club in a different way.
"The board, myself and the players have all become one. We have built the club to have success in the future. This is a truly remarkable club that many managers would want to manage at, including Rafa Benítez."
Liverpool's midfielder Lucas Leiva, a Benítez signing from Gremio in 2007, has signed a new long-term contract at Anfield, the club have announced.