Sale of star duo ruled out
Liverpool will not sell Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres, the club's managing director Christian Purslow insisted yesterday, writes Tony Barrett.
There has been speculation that Liverpool would be forced to cash in on their prize assets should they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, in order to service debts that have reached £237m.
However, Purslow -- launching a charm offensive in the wake of the resignation of Tom Hicks Jr from the board following an abusive email to a fan -- was adamant that both were staying at Anfield.
He also claimed that investment in the club was imminent, raising the possibility that co-owners Tom Hicks Snr and George Gillett could be bought out.
"Nothing could be further from the truth than reports which suggested the club would choose to sell its star footballers. Full stop," Purslow said. "The idea that we would is completely against the interests of this club."
Having become fed on a diet of unfulfilled promises since Hicks and Gillett bought Liverpool almost three years ago, supporters have become cynical about pronouncements made by the club's hierarchy and it remains to be seen how much Purslow's attempt at reassurance will assuage them.
But his message that the search for investment could result in the deeply unpopular owners being bought out altogether is likely to have been well received.
"Provided all goes well, there is a serious possibility of fresh investment within the foreseeable future. That could be part-ownership or it could be complete ownership.
"It hasn't been the most active investment market for the last 18 months. But we haven't had problems in attracting interest.
Maxi Rodriguez has returned to Spain to tie up some loose ends at Atletico Madrid before completing his £1.5m transfer. The Argentina midfielder had a medical on Merseyside on Merseyside yesterday. (© The Times, London)