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Rafa would resign if Reds sold Torres

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Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has revealed he would resign if the club ever sell Fernando Torres. The Reds' finances have been under intense scrutiny for most of the time Tom Hicks and George Gillett have owned the club and became a key line of questioning in a wide ranging interview with Times football editor Tony Evans.

The Anfield boss discussed issues such as debt and the money he has to spend. When explicity asked if Torres could be sold if a bid of £100 million or more was received he said: "I'm confident it will never happen. If it did, I'd resign."

Benitez also told the paper he intended to create a future as glorious as the heydays Liverpool enjoyed just a couple of decades ago. Reflecting on his time at the helm he contrasted the club inherited from Gerard Houllier to the one developed since the summer of 2004 saying: "There is a massive difference between five years ago and now. The name of the club round the world is at the same level as it was in the 1980s. It's a fanatastic achievement. Everybody talks about Liverpool in a good way. And we will get better."

No doubt with the 50th anniversary of Bill Shankly's arrival at the club in his mind he added: "I want to leave a winning legacy."

The manager's confidence contrasts with the current state of affairs. The Reds have just one win in the last nine games and have seemingly failed to build on a good season last time out. This was recognised by Benitez who said: "People are worried but the team will improve. When we have key players on the pitch we are as good as anyone. We have proved this in the past.

The current squad plus the departure of Xabi Alonso and others was also addressed. Responding to recent criticism from pundits Benitez defended his record at both ends of the transfer market: "When we have spent big, normally it's been very good business," he said. "Torres, Mascherano, Reina, Alonso. keane is also a good player but we had to sell him because he was not playing at the level we knew he could play. Ryan (Babel) was signed for the future and we are waiting or his improvement. He has to be more consistent.

"With fringe players we need to take a gamble on Bosmans and one, two million pound players. Some of these player have not been good enough for us. it is a risk you have to accept when there is not a lot of money about."

Moving to the departure of Alonso the manager said: "He put in a transfer request. We had a professional and good relationship. Some people say a manager should put his arm around the player's shoulder. I don't know too many manager who do this. Some managers here in England don't even see the training sessions. How can you put your arm around the shoulders of the players if you are not even there?"

Turning towards his own future and that of the club Benitez was positive if understated: "we are progressing. I am happy and want to do the best for this club."


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 November 2009 00:24 )