Hodgson: Masch eyeing exit, Torres wants to stay
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that midfielder Javier Mascherano has said he is keen to leave Anfield this summer, although the manager is convinced Fernando Torres remains committed to the club.
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Mascherano is believed to have been unsettled at Anfield for some time but on Monday made his position clear to Hodgson when meeting the new manager upon his return to the club.
It is now expected that former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will attempt to take Mascherano to Inter Milan. The player's agent recently said Mascherano is keen to join the Nerrazzuri and reunite with his former boss.
As for Hodgson, he is adamant that while Mascherano has expressed a desire to leave, the Argentina captain will only do so on Liverpool's terms.
"Yes, he wants to leave the club," he said. "He has made that perfectly clear. I think he wanted to leave a year ago. He wants to leave now but he is contracted to Liverpool so whether he leaves or not will be our decision.
"He is a Liverpool player and will continue to be treated as a Liverpool player until such a day arrives when he no longer is.
"The mere fact that the player is a little bit unhappy with his situation and would prefer to leave does not necessarily mean that he will do. It disappoints me but it is not unusual. I think in every club throughout the world there are players playing in the team who would prefer to leave.
"Some are allowed to, some are not allowed to. Mascherano is a Liverpool player with a two-year contract. I expect him to honour that contract until the day comes when the club decides to accept an offer for his services."
Torres has also been the subject of sustained speculation, with Chelsea believed to be preparing a bid and Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini expressing an interest on Monday, but Hodgson insists the striker is committed to the club.
"As far as I know he is looking forward to coming back here; he is back on Monday,'' Hodgson said. "He is enjoying a holiday - a well-deserved break as he has not had one for three years.
"He is spending a lot of time with his family, keeping a low profile and as far as I know he is not really speaking to anyone.
"But he has told us that he is looking forward to Monday, looking forward to getting back to work and looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That is what I know so other reports, I would suggest, are erroneous.''