Hodgson: Torres looking forward to return

Roy Hodgson spoke to the media this afternoon as part of a press conference at Anfield staged to unveil the three signings to arrive so far in what Tom Hicks promised would be a “big” summer. What Hicks didn’t specify was whether it was “big” for transfers in or transfers out, and that was the kind of question most fans wanted to hear answered, in particular relating to the futures of Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano.

Hodgson still unsure of squadThe total outlay so far this “big” summer is £2m, the fee paid for young defender Danny Wilson (with more to pay should certain targets be met). The other two signings unveiled were Joe Cole and Milan Jovanovich, both signed on free transfers.  One signing made just before the end of last season was Jonjo Shelvey, not part of today’s show, he cost £1.7m.

What’s far more worrying for Liverpool fans is where all the money from sales has gone to. Obviously there’s still some work to be done in the transfer market, because if the Emiliano Insua transfer to Fiorentina goes through there won’t be a recognised left-back at the club. Christian Purslow and Martin Broughton have both insisted that any proceeds from player sales can’t and won’t be used to “pay down debt”, but have yet to explain where all the money has gone.

The club’s current financial year ends next week, and in that 12-month period the club have spent far less than they have brought back in on transfer fees. Assuming Insua’s sale goes through at the reported £5m fee, Liverpool will have made a profit on transfer fees of £32.1m since August 1st.

Reports today from Spain suggest Maxi Rodriguez will be leaving just six months after he arrived (also on free) despite some good performances for the club and his ever-present status in the World Cup finals for Argentina. Maxi may well leave without a fee changing hands, but that won’t be the case should his international captain leave Anfield this summer.

Javier Mascherano wanted a move to Barcelona last summer but was refused the opportunity. He’s pushing for a move this summer, Inter Milan looking the most likely destination this time round. His reasons for leaving have nothing to do with the former manager or the state of the club’s finances, according to his own claims, instead it’s all to do with his wife’s unhappiness at life in England.

Hodgson was asked what the state of play was with Mascherano, and he confirmed that the player wanted out: “He wants to leave the club, he’s made that perfectly clear, I think he wanted to leave a year ago and he wants to leave now as well.”

It seems that so far this summer the new manager has had little input into decisions over who stays or goes, but he tried to assert some authority on proceedings by insisting Mascherano would only be sold if an appropriate offer came in: “He’s contracted to Liverpool Football Club so whether he leaves or not will be our decision. At the moment he’s a Liverpool player and I will treat him as a Liverpool player and expect him to be a Liverpool player until such a day arrives that he no longer is.

“The mere fact a player is a little bit unhappy with his situation and would prefer to leave doesn’t necessarily mean that he will leave. Mascherano is a Liverpool player, he’s got a two year contract, I expect him to honour that contract until the day comes that the club decides to accept an offer for his services.”

Only time will tell if Hodgson has any say in what is considered an acceptable offer, and how much of those proceeds will be spent on improving the squad.

Fernando Torres is worth far more to the club than Mascherano, not only in financial terms but also in terms of the clubs’ hopes of success, not to mention the morale of supporters and the rest of the squad.

But Torres is said by a number of sources to be extremely unhappy with broken promises from those running the club, promises relating to investment in the club that would in turn bring investment into the squad. Targets the club had lined up last summer were missed out on amidst claims the funding had been pulled at the last minute. Suggestions Torres was unhappy with the former manager were wide of the mark, and recent hints from Hodgson referred to the player being unhappy with the club’s hierarchy, not the former manager.

Speculation surfaced this week that Torres wanted to leave so could play Champions League football this season, speculation that was quite easy for Hodgson to refute: “I know nothing about that.”

Hodgson said last week that he’d only had a brief amount of time to speak to Torres so far and that he’d left Christian Purslow behind to continue talking to him, suggesting that Fernando’s problems didn’t relate to issues that Hodgson is responsible for. Whether he’s spoken to him since or is relying on Purslow’s word isn’t clear, but he said he believed Torres was looking forward to getting back to work: “As far as I know he’s looking forward to coming back here, he’s back on Monday.

“He’s enjoying a holiday which is a well-deserved break I think; I don’t think he’s had one for 3 years. He’s spending a lot of time with his family.”

Hodgson again used the term “as far as I know” as he explained his doubts as to the validity of those recent Torres Champions League stories: “As far as I know he’s keeping a very low profile, not really speaking to anyone, but he has told us that he’s looking forward to Monday, looking forward to getting back to work, looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That’s what I know so all other reports I would suggest are erroneous.”

What isn’t erroneous is that this club is making as much profit on transfer fees as some of those clubs it is competing with are spending. Spending money is of course no guarantee of success, but making a £30m profit on transfer fees in a year is hardly a sign of a club with ambition and determination to reach the top. And with that kind of approach from the club’s hierarchy, particularly in the last year, it’s little wonder that the likes of Torres and Gerrard are so reluctant to shout from the rooftops that they want to stay at the club.

This club needs new owners, new investment, and new people running it.

9 thoughts on “Hodgson: Torres looking forward to return”

  1. MB claims that serious discussions will be taking place in August. Why not now if they really want the club to move on and to be competitive?

    If they were serious about selling at a reasonable price, surely they would have had strong interest by now. David Moores was a complete fool to sell out for a few dollars more. We have been a laughing stock since T & G came in but the other worry is that who can afford the £750 million + to buy the club and start work on the stadium without piling on the debt again to the club?

    Is there any update as to who the interested parties are as it has gone quiet (which may be a good thing).

    My worry is that the sale process will drag on another year and we really will lose the likes of Torres and SG and I would not blame them.

    It can’t get any worse than last season so I am looking forward to a fresh start with players that want to play for Liverpool.

    With hope and fear in my heart at the moment!

  2. Quick reply about “interested parties” Red Storm. Serious interested parties will not be boasting about their interest and will not appreciate their interest being boasted about. Very few people will know anything about a serious bid until the actual announcement itself is made.

    I don’t believe H&G can block an offer if it is a decent offer (whatever that might actually mean) but there’s no saying what is considered a ‘decent offer’ will be made.

    Tom Hicks is believed to have been in the country last week, George Gillett wasn’t too far away in Switzerland, we can read all kinds of things into that but the fact so little has been said could be encouragement in itself.

    But we’ve had two years of that, and my cynical side tells me it could be that way for many more years to come. But fingers crossed, it might just be the end of this nightmare soon.

  3. “It’s little wonder that the likes of Torres and Gerrard are so reluctant to shout from the rooftops that they want to stay at the club”.
    But the fact remains they are staying – that’s good enough for me this week. Torres in particular is an absolute gem.
    And just for the record I recall a few weeks ago that Torres was quoted as saying that it was best for all concerned that Rafa moved on – I concur.
    We are where we are, lets all get behind the club.

  4. i cannot understand, insua for sale, maxi on the out, now pacheco is to go on loan, we need two left backs, one right back if degen leaves, a right winger if maxi leaves. I also read that hodgson told agger that he can look for a new club and mas.h is on his way out to, If all these players leave plus the ones who already left we would have ofloaded 7, and only replaced them with two, i do not count jonjo and wilson as first squad players as yet if we are to target a CL spot, so that would leave us with 5 players short. for me it only shows one thing we are selling our assets, CP is managing to find the 100 mil he promessed in any way possable.

  5. Well said! Times are hard but I can’t help thinking this is our year. Granted I have said that for the last 10 years but we have to beleive.

    Hodgson is a step in the right direction and with Reina, Carra, Johnson, Stevie, Cole and Torres as the main backbone I’m sure Roy can sort things out.

    I would love to win the league but we need to be realistic. I think a champions league spot and a Wembley trip will be a good season for me.

    Oh and some multi billion pound takeover haha. We live in hope!!!

  6. Jim, If Rafa deserved to be referred to as “Rafa” by you then I think Roy deserves the same courtacy not to be referred to as Hodgson. It’s a bit disrespectful.
    There’s a bit of time left in the transfer market yet before we get too alarmed. Only citeh have made any big moves, once we know what’s happening with Masch & Torres for sure then we’ll know how much we can spend on players & wages etc. If a potential signing happened to stumble on this site do you think he would be encouraged to join our great club?

  7. Let’s hope Torres and Gerrard reported willingness to stay is because they have received assurances about squad investment from CP and also info on potential buyers and it’s not just further packs of lies.

  8. Todd – well said. I think there is too much negative things written on our club…..most of them by our own fans. And I am not just referring to this website…..there are several others….No wonder more and more media are portraying the club “as gloom and doom”.

    I hope all these negative fans should stop posting negative things about the club/team and start writing more positive things.

    There are always disagreeable things happening at all clubs behind the scene but at least these are kept P & C.

    As an example, it is disappointing that Kenny Dalgish was not considered for the manager’s post and I am sure Kenny is very disappointed as well. That explains he giving an interview “letting go” of his disappointment. But at least, his response is still acceptable- placing the club’s interest above his own ego.

    Rafa Benitez (and pro-Rafa fans) has got to learn from him. Nobody is bigger than the club, certainly not Rafa Benitez and not even Kenny Dalgish. In Kenny’s own words:”This is not about Kenny Dalgish, Roy Hodgson or Christian Purslow. It is about Liverpool FC. I will meet Roy Hodgson but he has more pressing things…..etc”.

    PS: I am not surprised if Kenny accepts a managerial post at some other club – I won’t blame him. But that does not mean he is going against LIverpool FC, Christian Purslow or the board. If I were him, I would certainly entertain the thought of going somewhere and prove that “I still have it”.

  9. @Harry Yeo

    do you want to paint one promising and all happy view but let the eyes blind and ear deaf?

    we as fans have the right to critisize the board if they do not fulfill their role and do not go for the good of our club.

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