Torres and Reina will not leave Anfield, insists Henry

Roy Hodgson yesterday joined his new paymasters in rebuffing any notions that Pepe Reina and Fernando Torres will be leaving Liverpool in January and is also comfortable with the idea that he will have to justify any proposed spending to the club's owners.

Reports earlier this week indicated that Reina and Torres were both likely to invoke get-out clauses in their respective Liverpool contracts to release them from a club that continues to struggle on the pitch despite the new-found stability off it.

On that point, Liverpool's new co-owner John Henry, who heads the New England Sports Ventures company that bought Liverpool for £300m earlier this month, released a statement underlining that they did not buy Liverpool in order to turn Anfield into a shop window.

"We have recently read stories about our intentions for the forthcoming January transfer window and have a sense of humour about this type of inevitable speculation," Henry said. "We are new to English football, but not to sport, and we are studying all options.

"Our clear focus from day one of our ownership has been – and will be – to improve the club and focus on what it will take to put Liverpool FC consistently in a position to challenge for trophies. We intend to build this club the right way. Stories about our top players leaving are destructive and unwarranted but we realise that this kind of speculation is also common.

"We intend to build on the strength of the current squad, not undermine it. And I can reassure our supporters that we have no intention of allowing the team to be weakened."

The landscape at Liverpool has changed so dramatically over the last fortnight that agreeing with the utterances of the board is no longer akin to professional suicide for the club's manager and Hodgson was more than happy to reiterate Henry's stance.

"I'm not concerned about it at all," Hodgson said regarding the speculation. "There is no way the club is interested in selling those players or will be looking to sell them at any time.

"The owners have been perfectly clear in their statement they do not want to sell, they want to keep the good players we have and add other good players so we become stronger.

"I can tell you Torres and Reina are training very well, and if they are unhappy and if they are wanting to get away they are making a damn good job of disguising it, because in training every day and in the matches their commitment seems to be as strong as ever.

"I would be very surprised, they are great favourites with the Liverpool fans and I can't imagine for one minute they would insult Liverpool fans by suggesting 'we are unhappy, and we are only here for the good times'. Both of them, I'm sure, are as committed as I am to making sure the good times start again."

Hodgson also appears more than happy to stand in front of Liverpool's new owners and describe how and why he wants to bring in the players he has targeted for January.

Henry has made it crystal clear that there will be no blank cheques for Hodgson. "They haven't explained in great detail how they envision the club will operate," Hodgson said. "I do know they want a very active role and I think they should have a very active role.

"They have spent an awful lot of money to buy this club and it would be absolute folly, in my opinion, if they weren't to back that up with wanting to know the whys and wherefores. I don't think their taking an active interest means they're going to give me a list of players and say 'I think you should sign these'. It's quite the opposite in fact.

"I would be surprised if they didn't want us to justify our suggestions, justify why the players are worth the sort of money being asked for them, and the sort of wages they are asking for."

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes