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.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style