Kuyt hands Reds double victory

Striker vows he will not leave for Inter as late goal spares Liverpool's blushes in Europa League

Roy Hodgson last night won his battle to keep Dirk Kuyt out of the clutches of
Internazionale and Rafael Benitez after a day in which Liverpool's relations with their former manager hit a new low over poaching allegations.

In the aftermath of Liverpool's 2-1 Europa League play-off second leg victory over Trabzonspor, Kuyt pledged his future to the club thus ending a day of rising tensions over whether Benitez had reneged on an agreement not to try to sign his former players.

At the Champions League draw in Monaco earlier yesterday, Benitez responded to Hodgson's allegations that he had gone back on an agreement with Liverpool not to poach their players by claiming that transfers were not his responsibility. Benitez said: "I am the coach and I cannot sign players – that is for the technical director and the chairman. I am fine like this – I can focus on my work on the pitch and that is all. I am the coach, not the manager."

Benitez refused to expand further on whether it was just a coincidence that his club's president Massimo Moratti and technical director Marco Branca had earmarked Kuyt and Javier Mascherano – two of Benitez's stalwarts during his time at Anfield – as the club's key targets in this transfer window.

Hodgson has previously suggested that Benitez had been in contact with the agent Rob Jansen who represents Kuyt. Kuyt, who scored last night, said after the 3-1 aggregate win over Trabzonspor: "As far as I know my future is at Liverpool. I've had a great time so far and I hope my future will be great here. All I want is to win trophies with Liverpool."

Hodgson said: "Dirk Kuyt is not for sale so excuse me for not understanding the speculation of being happy now he has said he is staying because I never doubted he was staying.

"Dirk is an important part of Liverpool, I've made it clear we don't welcome any offers for him and he's not for sale. As far as I'm concerned he is someone I believe in, someone I count on, and it is important we improve the team around the Steven Gerrards, Fernando Torres's, Jose Reinas and the Kuyts and not sell them and start all over again."

Without his midfielder Mascherano for the second consecutive game, Hodgson ridiculed the offer made by Inter for the player. Liverpool value the Argentina captain at around £25m and have so far resisted attempts by Barcelona and Inter to buy him for less.

Hodgson said: "I saw a fax but I think it was sent tongue-in-cheek. The offer was so unbelievably far from a valuation it seemed to me the sporting director was putting the fax in to maybe satisfy people at the club. We didn't even bother to answer it, that is how ridiculously far from a serious offer it was."

Branca said that he was waiting for a reply from Liverpool to the club's latest offer. He said: "Everybody knows that Mascherano would like to change team and to change country. He also has a good relationship with our manager. We've made a very good offer, around the amount they are asking for. We have a strong team here, the best in Europe, but we would like to add one or two players to make us even stronger."

Hodgson moved a step closer to signing his former left-back Paul Konchesky from Fulham when it emerged that the London club were concluding a deal for the Mexico left-back Carlos Salcido of PSV Eindhoven.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones