Hodgson in talks to retain star names

15 July 2010 12:30
New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits the club are having to work hard to persuade some of their disenchanted stars to stay this season. There has been fevered speculation about the futures of striker Fernando Torres, captain Steven Gerrard and midfielder Javier Mascherano since the Reds finished a disappointing campaign under Rafael Benitez. The Spaniard's departure at the beginning of June intensified rumours about the future of a number of players, and although Hodgson has spoken to Gerrard he is yet to meet Torres or Mascherano, who are still on leave after the World Cup. Speculation continues to grow about an impending Chelsea bid for Torres while Mascherano has been linked with a reunion with Benitez at Inter Milan or a move to Barcelona, who were interested in him 12 months ago, and his agent is actively talking up the prospect of a transfer again. However, Hodgson has stressed from the moment he took over on July 1 that he wants to keep his key players. "We are working very hard on making certain the players we have at the club who you would call the 'good players' are going to be with us for next season," said the Englishman. "The board are working very hard in that area. Some players are a bit disenchanted after what happened last season and we want to make sure we get that enchantment back."

Source: PA