Anfield outfit would allow skipper to leave if he pushed for move apparently.
Torres’s future is balanced against that of Steven Gerrard whom the club would allow to leave if he asked to do so – and providing that Real Madrid made a suitable offer.
The difference in attitudes towards the two players is because Liverpool feel that they would owe Gerrard the right to play elsewhere after 12 years of loyal service. They do not feel the same debt towards Torres who signed a new five-year contract in May last year. It is accepted that it may be practical to consider a sale of the Spanish international next summer by which time they hope the club will be stabilised under Hodgson.
There are plans to give the player an attractive and innovative commercial deal that the club hope will grant him greater incentive to stay. But the key element in Liverpool’s favour is Torres’s long-term contract that means even if he is sold next summer he would still attract a considerable price.
While the latest financial results in May for Kop Football Holdings, Liverpool’s parent company, revealed debts of around £473m for the previous financial year, the club still believe that with their new £81m Standard Chartered shirt sponsorship deal they remain attractive to potential buyers. Retaining Torres is key to the strategy of the club’s American owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks.
Hodgson said yesterday that he expected both Torres and Gerrard to stay at the club and planned to meet with the former soon after the World Cup final on Sunday. The club do not expect Torres, 26, to make life difficult for them when they outline their intentions to keep him at Anfield for another season. (Independent)
Could this really be the case? Would Liverpool really just stand aside if their skipper made it clear he wanted to leave? One would imagine a ‘suitable’ offer would be anything above £35m and Jose Mourinho appears to be interested in the England international, which would leave the matter very much in Gerrard’s court.
Whilst it makes sense in theory that after such a long and distinguished era at the Merseyside club they may well offer the 30 year old the chance of a new challenge, I can’t for the life of me imagine that even two men as seemingly clueless as Tom Hicks and George Gillett, would allow a player of such ability and importance to just walk.
Do Liverpool fans think their captain would consider leaving for pastures new?