Monday, March 15, 2010

Rafa unsure of Torres future if Liverpool fail to qualify

Rafael Benítez fears Fernando Torres will seek to leave Anfield should Liverpool fail to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"Finishing fourth in the Premier League would mean a lot to Fernando," said the Liverpool manager ahead of his side's suddenly all-important home game against Portsmouth tonight.

"People talk about money with Fernando but I can tell you his main motivation is winning trophies. That is what drives him. That is always the main topic in any discussion between us. Fernando's only thought is to be challenging for honours, it's all that concerns him. He wants to be playing in the Champions League."

Benítez's apprehension regarding Torres's future can have been only heightened by a weekend interview the Spain striker gave to his country's AS newspaper. Torres said Liverpool would continue to "go backwards" unless "four or five top-class players" arrived at Anfield. In the absence of such investment the centre forward admitted he might have to consider his future and, dropping a hint which will have been music to the ears of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, Torres indicated another Premier League club would be his preferred destination.

"I don't plan on going back to La Liga for a while," he said. Careful not to burn any bridges with his employers, Torres, whose Anfield contract runs to 2013, added: "I owe Liverpool a lot, I like it here and the people have treated me as one of their own." Even so, when asked if he had thought about exiting Anfield this summer, the former Atlético Madrid striker said: "It's too early to talk about that."

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