Hodgson clings to Torres hope
iverpool boss Roy Hodgson is hoping Fernando Torres will commit his future to the club, following Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole in his plans. Spanish striker Torres has been the subject of intense speculation this summer, and has been tipped to leave the Reds during the transfer window. Liverpool had a miserable campaign last term under the stewardship of Rafa Benitez, but the former coach has now moved on to Inter Milan and Hodgson is the man in charge. He pleased fans with the signing of Joe Cole on a four-year deal on Monday, while captain Steven Gerrard has also come out to confirm he is staying with his boyhood team. However, Torres, 26, will be a major concern for Liverpool as he has produced some sparkling performances since his move to the club from Atletico Madrid in 2007, although no word has yet to come out of the Spaniard's camp. Despite strong links to Manchester City, Chelsea and Barcelona, Hodgson hopes he will stay and revealed talks with managing director Christian Purslow are ongoing. "Christian Purslow has been talking to Fernando Torres for the last two days so I think there has probably been lots of words from Fernando Torres but I haven't actually spoken to him," he told Sky Sports News. "It was a major day yesterday (Tuesday) with the signing of Joe Cole in tandem with Steven Gerrard committing his future to the club, hopefully that will soon be followed by Fernando Torres and then we can start thinking about the one or two other signings that we would like to bring in to strengthen the squad even more. "Then we can start hopefully on Monday meeting a percentage of the players who played in the World Cup and start getting down to some serious work." Hodgson, who was talking after Liverpool's friendly draw with Grasshoppers in Switzerland, also reiterated the fact that he is untroubled about the lack of contact with Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano. Mascherano's Anfield future is also uncertain but the former Fulham boss expects to talk to him when he returns from his holidays. He added: "Mascherano is on holiday. He's not due back until the August 5 so when he returns to the club I'll be speaking to him, not before then." On Gerrard's decision to stay at Liverpool, Hodgson remarked: "Steven wanted time to consider a possible option that he had but I was always optimistic that he would stay with Liverpool because he's the heart and soul of Liverpool and it would have been a major blow to lose him."
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