Hicks - Top talent will stay

Image: Gillett & Hicks: Clearing the air

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists the club will not be selling the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres this summer.

Reds co-owner believes a takeover will be completed by year end

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists the club will not be selling the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres this summer. A disappointing showing in the 2009/10 campaign has left the red half of Merseyside fuming, with many feeling the current American owners have failed to back manager Rafa Benitez in the transfer market. Spiralling debts have also caused concern, with it suggested that sales may be necessary this year to help balance the books. Amid mounting criticism, Hicks and business partner George Gillett have put the club up for sale, with former owner David Moores calling for the pair to sell up quickly on Wednesday. Hicks, though, is adamant that Liverpool are in better financial health than is often reported and claims there is no chance of them offloading their star men over the coming months. "We have no intention of selling any of our top players," he told Sky Sports News. "We have a substantial transfer budget in place. There is so much misinformation about transfer spending - it has more then doubled under the ownership of George and myself over the past three years. "We will make a considerable investment this summer, but it is really about getting the right players."

Better off

Hicks has also responded to the calls for a sale to be pushed through by revealing that he expects a takeover to be completed by the end of 2010. He claims there is no rush for a deal to be put in place, though, with it imperative that Liverpool find the right buyer to help take the club forward. "We will sell the club but it is about selling to the right group, at the right price, at the right time and in the right way," said Hicks. "We will do it in a thoughtful way and try to find the right man for Liverpool Football Club. We hope it will be done by the end of the calendar year, but I don't anticipate that it would be before the start of the next season. "I think between £600-800million is a realistic value range, but the market is the market. We are more concerned about finding the right next owner, someone who can make the investment in the club, get the stadium built and let Liverpool Football Club be the best club in the world. "The stadium is fully designed now and the financing markets are backed, so the change of ownership will be able to have the stadium built." He added: "There has been so much misinformation put out by people who have their own agendas and it's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is. The truth is that the club is a lot better off than it was three years ago. "We are all disappointed with where we finished this year, but people forget we almost won the Premier League last year. "We had injuries and we had players who performed below their level of expectation. Hopefully we will get that fixed in time for the new season."

Around Sky