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Page last updated at 07:30 GMT, Saturday, 8 May 2010 08:30 UK

Liverpool 'have no reason to sell Torres & Gerrard'

Fernando Torres & Steven Gerrard
Torres & Gerrard are said to be targets for Chelsea & Real Madrid respectively

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has insisted neither Fernando Torres nor captain Steven Gerrard need to be sold to ease the club's mounting debts.

The Reds' parent company posted a loss of £54.9m for the year to 31 July 2009.

Newspaper reports have linked Torres and Gerrard with possible big money moves away from Anfield this summer.

But Broughton said: "There's absolutely no reason to sell either Torres or Gerrard. We don't need to do it to pay off any debt."

The British Airways chairman, who was brought in last month to oversee the sale of the club added: "I don't want to sell either of them. Rafa [Benitez] does not want to sell either of them, the club is not looking to sell them."

Broughton had what he described as a "constructive and frank exchange of views" with Benitez on summer transfer targets, and insists that the sale of the club will not affect those plans.

"The squad does need strengthening and that is an on-going process which will not be stopped by the sale.

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"We have sat down with Rafa to determine what is the strength of it [the squad], what it needs, who are the right players and who needs to be sold," said Broughton.

"What I have asked for from Rafa is an appraisal of each of the players, where the weak links are, which players he would prefer to sell if he had the opportunity, which positions he needs to fill, who are his prime candidates and what would be his priorities."

Torres is sidelined following knee surgery but the 26-year-old striker is hoping to return in time to play for Spain in this summer's World Cup.

At the end of March, he dismissed speculation he might be looking to leave Liverpool but underlined the importance of manager Benitez being able to strengthen his squad after a disappointing campaign.

The Merseysiders will miss out on Champions League football next season after finishing out of the top four in the Premier League and failing to get through the group stage of Europe's premier club competition before Christmas.

Torres has scored 72 goals in 116 games for Liverpool since arriving from Atletico Madrid for a fee of about £20m in July 2007 but has yet to win any major honours during his time at Anfield.

Liverpool chairmain Martin Broughton
Broughton was appointed in April

Gerrard, 29, a product of the Reds' youth academy, has become a talismanic figure, inspiring Liverpool to their Champions League triumph in 2005 as well as to two FA Cups, two League Cups and the Uefa Cup.

Benitez, whose own future has been the subject of much scrutiny, has been more concerned with Torres returning to full fitness than any stories about him leaving.

"I think that Fernando will be OK and the main thing for him now is to recover and be ready for the World Cup", said the Liverpool boss.

"He has said from the start that he is very happy at Anfield, so hopefully he will be OK and can score a lot of goals for the club in the future."

Liverpool's huge loss was 34% worse than 2008's figure as £40.1m went on servicing the club's £351.4m debt to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and US firm Wachovia.



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see also
Liverpool post loss as debts rise
08 May 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez opens talks over future
06 May 10 |  Liverpool
Surgery was only option - Torres
19 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Owners put Liverpool up for sale
16 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Torres out for rest of the season
19 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
Torres vows to stay at Liverpool
27 Mar 10 |  Liverpool
Torres knee operation rocks Reds
14 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez hails quality of Torres
26 Oct 09 |  Liverpool
Liverpool complete Torres signing
04 Jul 07 |  Europe


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