Roy - Masch wants Reds exit
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Javier Mascherano wants to leave but insists striker Fernando Torres is happy to stay.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 28/07/10 1:49am
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed Javier Mascherano wants to leave Anfield but insists striker Fernando Torres is happy to stay.
The Argentina international has been one of several Reds players to be linked with a move away following their disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season.
The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a reunion with Rafa Benitez, who brought Mascherano to Anfield in 2007 from West Ham but departed for Inter Milan in June.
The news will come as little surprise to many following the combative midfielder's lack of contact with Hodgson following his country's exit from the World Cup at the quarter-final stage at the start of July.
Hodgson confirmed the news in a press conference on Tuesday, but made it clear that they had not received any offer and that the former West Ham player still had a contract to honour.
"Yes he wants to leave the club. He's made that perfectly clear," said Hodgson.
"I think he wanted to leave a year ago. He wants to leave now as well.
"But he is contracted to Liverpool Football Club so whether he leaves or not will be our decision.
"At the moment he is a Liverpool player and I shall continue to treat him as a Liverpool player and expect him to be a Liverpool player. Until such a day arrives when he no longer is.
"The mere fact that the player is a little bit unhappy with his situation and will prefer to leave doesn't necessarily mean he that will leave.
"Yes, it disappoints me, but it's not unusual. I think in every football club through the Premier League and all throughout the world there will be players playing in a team that would prefer to leave.
"Some are allowed to, some are not allowed to. So that's the situation with Mascherano.
"He's a Liverpool player, he has a two-year contract, and I expect him to honour that contract until the day comes when the club to accept an offer for his services."
The new Reds boss did, however, have more positive news on the situation of star striker Torres, who has also been heavily linked with a move away from Merseyside.
The Spain World Cup winner is set to return to training on Monday following his holiday, with Hodgson stating that Torres was looking forward to being back and denying rumours that the he stated he wanted to be playing in the UEFA Champions League this season.
"I know nothing about that as far as I know. He's looking forward to coming back here, he's back on Monday," he added.
"He's enjoying a holiday and a well deserved break, I don't think he's had one for three years.
"He's spending a lot of time with his family. As far as I know he's keeping a very low profile and not really speaking to anybody. But he has told us that he's looking forward to Monday and getting back to work.
"He's looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That's what I know and I would suggest that any other reports are erroneous."