Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson wary of big Torres offer

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is pleased Fernando Torres has pledged his future to the club after admitting the club would not be able to turn down a massive bid for the Spain striker.

Both Chelsea and Manchester City were rumoured to be considering a British transfer record bid for Torres, but he returned to pre-season training this week and insisted his commitment had not wavered. Liverpool clearly did not want to sell the 26-year-old but it was felt had they received a bid in excess of £50million they would have had to seriously consider it.

"The important thing for Fernando and for us is that we have a good season - he as a player, us as a club and me as a manager," said the 62-year-old. "Who knows what next season will bring? We could have a fantastic season and the players will not want to go anywhere or we could have a worse one and there will be more speculation."

He added: "It could be he does so fantastically well and an offer comes in like the offer came in for Kaka or Cristiano Ronaldo (£56million and £80million respectively - both from Real Madrid) which is impossible to turn down.

"But we will take that problem when and if it arises but the important thing is it hasn't arisen this summer because he is going to be playing for us.

"He is committed to playing for us and he is going to honour his contract and it is good for me he has made it clear he likes the club and the fans.

"It is nice now the speculation can finally end once and for all after Fernando made it clear how absolutely committed he is."

Amid all the rumours Hodgson, three weeks into his reign, flew out to see Torres while he was on holiday.

The player said he had been impressed by his new manager but Hodgson admits there were times when he feared he would lose Torres or Steven Gerrard, who was linked to Real before he committed his future to the club.

"I hate bland statements saying 'Don't worry, everything will be rosy' when you know the world of football and what we are up against," he added. "I know the battles that have to be fought sometimes to get things right and I was anxious not to make any false promises. But it is a much nicer feeling today with all these players still with us with the possibility to bring in one or two new faces."


From Belfast Telegraph