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Hodgson hopeful over Torres

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has revealed the club remain locked in talks with Fernando Torres over the striker's Anfield future.

Hodgson has been boosted in recent days by the capture of Joe Cole on a free transfer and captain Steven Gerrard's pledge to remain with the club next season, and is now hoping Torres will throw his support behind the new boss. The Spain striker is yet to report back to the club following his involvement in Spain's victorious World Cup campaign, but Hodgson is optimistic the talks will lead to a positive breakthrough.

"Christian Purslow, the club's managing director, has been talking to Fernando Torres for the last two days so there have been lots of words. But I haven't spoken to him," Hodgson said in quotes reported by The Sun.

"I was confident Steven Gerrard would stay with Liverpool because he is the heart and soul of the club. It would have been a major blow to lose him. Steven Gerrard has pretty much said he's staying and that's a big boost.

"It was a major day on Tuesday with the signing of Joe Cole in tandem with Gerrard saying he is staying.

"Hopefully he will soon be followed by Fernando Torres."

© Press Association