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Hodgson hopeful of hanging on to his superstars

new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is confident of persuading captain Steven Gerrard and striker Fernando Torres they can have successful futures at the club.

The pair have both been linked with moves away from Anfield in the wake of a disappointing season which saw early exits from the Champions League and FA Cups and a seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.

Hodgson made speaking to Gerrard and vice-captain Jamie Carragher a priority when he took over from Rafael Benitez seven days ago and only Torres' continued World Cup participation has prevented him meeting the Spain international.

The 62-year-old is keen to hang on to as many as possible of his first-team squad -- which was strengthened this week with the completion of Serbia forward Milan Jovanovic's free transfer from Standard Liege.

But undoubtedly Gerrard and Torres are the key men who need to be persuaded to stick around, and Hodgson is optimistic on both fronts.

"I anticipate there might be a situation where other big clubs will try to sign Steven but he gave no indication that he wanted to leave," said the Reds boss.

"Nobody at the club wants him to go so I will be doing my utmost to make sure he stays. I am confident he will.

"Fernando is a wonderful striker and I understand the fans' concerns about his future.

"Unfortunately with the World Cup still on I won't be able to meet him face to face for another few weeks -- that's just circumstance and you won't hear me complaining about it.

"When I do meet him I will be doing everything I possibly can to convince him that Liverpool is the place to be.

"If he sees progress I am confident that he won't want to go anywhere else. I think he understands the club and the city."

Jovanovic's arrival on a three-year contract at least adds more experience to the first team.

The 29-year-old was a free agent after his deal with Standard Liege and he said: "It is an honour for me to sign for one of the biggest clubs in football."


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