Rafa Benitez ready to chop and change things at Anfield just as soon as the season comes to an end.
Liverpool have given Fernando Torres assurances they will be active in the transfer market this summer to try to convince him his future lies at Anfield.
As Liverpool go to Manchester United on Sunday, both manager Rafa Benitez and managing director Christian Purslow have talked with their star striker.
Torres is considered vital to Liverpool’s interests as a ‘global brand’ and they told him the team will be strengthened, despite uncertainty surrounding the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona have all been linked with the hero of Spain’s Euro 2008-winning campaign.
But Liverpool are adamant Torres will not be sold even for £60million because of the damage it would do to their reputation as a world force.
He is seen as their poster boy in the same way as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
To placate Torres, Liverpool are looking to sell squad players like Albert Riera, Ryan Babel and Alberto Aquilani this summer to raise £30m, which will then be invested in top-line talent.
A pre-contract agreement has already been reached with Serbian star Milan Jovanovic and Javier Mascherano is expected to sign a new £90,000-a-week deal.
Benitez said: ‘We can talk with Torres and go forward. He is happy and we don’t want to sell him.’ (Daily Mail)
Recent quotes from Fernando Torres have led many to believe that the Spaniard isn’t too happy with things at Anfield, and whilst a lot of that speculation may be driven by the media El Nino is probably right to think that our squad is not up to scratch and that a clearout in the summer is crucial to our ongoing progression.
We have far too many players who are still not up to the task of playing for a club of our stature, or at least the stature we are used to reaching. We did well to rid ourselves of Andriy Voronin and Andrea Dossena in January as both players, for different reasons, were simply not good enough for Liverpool Football Club.
Albert Riera and Ryan Babel have both had distinctly average Anfield careers thus far and the comments made by the Spanish winger will probably spell the end of his time at the club and as soon as an offer comes in for the former Espanyol man, probably from La Liga, then Rafa Benitez will surely sell. However Ryan has done enough lately to suggest that he is willing to fight for his future at the club and that’s good to see. He has played some of his best football at the club in the past month or so and if given enough time to prove himself he could well turn the corner.
Alberto Aquilani has always seemed something of an enigma to me. Some questioned why we signed him in the first place. Where was the wisdom of shelling out good money for a player in the middle of a long term injury? Why then is the Italian then not selected to play when he is fully fit? The central midfielder has shown occasional good touches but we are talking about a player who has started just five Premier League games! This is a player who cost us, albeit in installments, £20m.
If Rafa does fail to secure us a top four spot and if he does then walk then the signing that may well best sum up his time at the club would be that of Aquilani. A move that appears as dubious as the Spaniard’s occasional tactical nightmares.
Torres wants good players signed, and so do the rest of us. El Nino won’t go anyway, nor will we, the fans, but we do expect to see some change when this disastrous season comes to an end!