Hodgson: Big Torres offer would be hard to reject
Published 04/08/2010 | 15:58
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 £50m they would have had to seriously consider it.
Hodgson knows a player of Torres' quality will always attract attention but he is thinking only of what the player can offer him in the coming campaign.
"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.
"It could be he does so fantastically well and an offer comes in like the offer came in for Kaka or Cristiano Ronaldo (£56m and £80m 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."
However, Hodgson accepts his skills of persuasion may not be enough to keep Javier Mascherano at the club after he asked to leave, eyeing a reunion with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan.
"I think what Fernando was most impressed with was I spent about 15 hours on a plane to spend 15 minutes with him," added Hodgson.
"I think it will be slightly more difficult to persuade Javier to stay if a big offer comes in from a club he wants to go to.
"But the good thing is we haven't had that yet and as a result I can continue to work with him and just wait for the day, if it comes, when an offer comes in.
"If it was the offer that meets our valuation and he wants to go then I don't know if my powers of persuasion will be much good in that situation.
"But maybe they will never be needed because we might not get the offer, and he might stay with us anyway."