LONDON, November 18 – Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has insisted he will leave Anfield if striker Fernando Torres is sold without his consent.
The Merseysiders’ debts have led to speculation about what American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett would do if a big-money offer came in for the Premier League club’s star forward.
But Benitez told Tuesday’s edition of The Times that his fellow Spaniard wasn’t going anywhere.
"I’m confident it will never happen," he said. "If it did, I’d resign."
Liverpool’s financial position means they cannot currently match the spending of fellow ‘Big Four’ sides such as Manchester United and Chelsea.
"When we have spent big, normally it’s been very good business," Benitez said. "Torres, (Javier) Mascherano, (Pepe) Reina, (Xabi) Alonso.
"(Robbie) Keane is 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 for his improvement. He has to be more consistent.
"With the fringe players, we needed to take a gamble on Bosmans and one, two million-pound players.
"Some of these players have not been good enough for us.
"It is a risk you have to accept when there is not too much money about."
Liverpool are currently seventh in the Premier League table, having lost five games already this season, leading many pundits to predict their challenge for a first English title since 1990 has already evaporated.
And there are concerns the five-times European champions might struggle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
"People are worried," Benitez said. "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."