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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
people
News
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
people
News
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.

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us