Agent increases Torres transfer speculation

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The Independent Online

Spanish striker Fernando Torres is likely to stay in the Premier League next season but not necessarily with Liverpool, his agent was quoted as saying today.

The 26-year-old, currently at the World Cup with semi-finalists Spain, has been linked to big-spending champions Chelsea and Manchester City in the past as well as Spanish champions Barcelona.

"It is very likely that Fernando Torres will stay in the Premier League, but I cannot say that it will be with Liverpool," agent Jose Antonio Martin told the Daily Mail newspaper.

"We are working on his future but right now you cannot guarantee that he will stay with the English club."

Martin said Barcelona were no longer interested in the player, however.

"It is ruled out," he said. "Barcelona have signed David Villa and now they want to invest the money they have in other players."

Torres is one of Liverpool's prized assets and new manager Roy Hodgson, who has taken over from departed Spaniard Rafa Benitez, said last week that he would not have to sell him to service debts of almost £400m.

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