Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson will sell before he can spend big

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to further add to his squad before the start of the new season, but admits he has to be realistic in his aims.

The Anfield boss accepts he cannot match the spending power of rivals Manchester City or Tottenham but that will not stop his recruitment drive.

Having already acquired Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovic on free transfers and brought in 18-year-old centre-back Danny Wilson from Rangers for an initial £2million, Hodgson has to find a left-back and support for striker Fernando Torres.

Manchester City's England defender Wayne Bridge and AC Milan's Klaas Jan Huntelaar have both been linked, but both would make a considerable dent in Hodgson's restricted transfer budget.

With Emiliano Insua on the verge of a £5million transfer to Fiorentina, winger Albert Riera in talks with Olympiacos over a move for a similar amount and £25million-rated midfielder Javier Mascherano more than likely to be leaving Anfield this summer the Reds boss should have money made available to strengthen.

“We don't have the unlimited funds that teams like Manchester City and even Tottenham to some extent these days, seem to have,” said the 62-year-old.

“On the other hand some money is available and we are doing everything to use that money as sensibly as we can.

“We had quite a good squad of players last season: Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Jose Reina — these players means there is a certain strength to the team whatever we do.”

Hodgson has yet to work with most of the players who are likely to make up his first-choice line-up as they have either only just returned from a delayed holiday because of the World Cup or are still on leave.

The Liverpool manager has, instead, been putting a largely reserve squad through its paces at their Switzerland training camp.

Last night he took charge for the first time in a goalless friendly against Grasshoppers with a team which had an average age of just 20.

And it will be those same youngsters that he will field when the Reds face Rabotnicki of Macedonia in the Europa League third qualifying round. They will travel to Skopje next Thursday with the return at Anfield a week later.

Belfast Telegraph

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