Hodgson warns Fergie to keep away from Reina
Roy Hodgson has warned Alex Ferguson to look elsewhere for a successor to Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United after insisting that Liverpool have no intention of selling Pepe Reina.
Ferguson, whose interest in Spanish striker Fernando Torres is the likeliest cause of his glances towards Anfield, is aiming for a long-term replacement for Van der Sar, who celebrates his 40th birthday today.
Reina, who signed a six-year contract at Liverpool just six months ago, is understood to have become unsettled on Merseyside in recent months following the departure of Rafael Benitez and the majority of the former manager's coaching staff.
Arsenal attempted to sign the 28-year-old last season and Reina's former club, Atletico Madrid, are monitoring his situation at Liverpool following growing interest in their 19-year-old keeper, David de Gea. But with United's global hunt for a new goalkeeper an open secret, Liverpool manager Hodgson has made it clear that Reina will not be leaving Anfield for Old Trafford.
"If Alex Ferguson is looking around at the end of the season and he has got lots of money to replace Van der Sar, he might very well want Pepe Reina because he is the best around. But we don't want to sell him. I'd like to think that we are going to become a successful club once again and Pepe is crucial to that," said Hodgson.
"We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don't want to hear anything from Manchester United.
"Pepe is fantastic here, he is a lifeblood of this team. Everything he does around the club is excellent. He is always lively in the dressing-room, he is always first-class in training and he always wants to improve.
"He demands better from those around him, he is always pushing people on. He is a player who we hold in the highest esteem."
Hodgson was criticised by Liverpool supporters last week for admitting that "these things can happen" when asked about the prospect of United moving for Torres.
But the former Fulham manager insists that Liverpool are capable of repelling interest in their players from football's most powerful clubs.
"If I was Fernando Torres, I would expect every top club in Europe to be chasing me. That's good as it means he's doing his job, but we don't need the money and we don't want to sell," he said.
"We want to promise the players we have got here that we are going to be up there fighting once again and we are absolutely not looking to sell any of our better players. But, equally, I would also be disappointed if teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and all the teams with money were not looking at our players." (© Daily Telegraph, London)