LONDON, January 31 – Liverpool are determined to hold on to want-away striker Fernando Torres according to manager Kenny Dalglish, but the Reds are still making a last-ditch search for new recruits ahead of Monday's transfer deadline.
Newspaper reports over the weekend said that the Reds were willing to accept what would be a British record transfer fee of a 50million pounds for the Spaniard, but Dalglish insisted that there had been no change in the Anfield boardroom’s position.
Liverpool rejected a transfer request from Torres on Friday night, reminding the player of his commitment to a long-term contract, having turned down a 35million pounds bid from Chelsea the previous day.
And despite a 22.9million pounds deal for Ajax forward Luis Suarez being agreed on Friday, with the Uruguay international expected to complete the paperwork formalities on the transfer later Monday, Dalglish insisted that did not mean Torres was on his way out.
"With regards to Fernando, it’s the same as what the club statement was two or three days ago," Dalglish said. "We will stick to that and we won’t be adding to that.
"Our supporters deserve to be told but I think our supporters deserve to be told definitive news rather than speculative stuff."
The club have not given up hope of persuading Torres to stay, although Dalglish reiterated his belief that his concern was players who were committed to the club.
"Movement is part and parcel of football but the most important people at Liverpool Football Club are the ones who want to be here," he added.
Torres, who trained on Sunday after the squad were given a couple of days off, was at the club’s Melwood training ground on Monday morning.
While Torres waits to discover his fate, Dalglish and Damien Comolli, Liverpool’s director of football strategy, have been busy trying to make a host of deadline day signings.
Even if Torres stays, Liverpool’s squad clearly needs an overhaul after 18 months of underachievement and Dalglish and Comolli are reported to be interested in Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, Aston Villa winger Ashley Young and Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam.
"We’re going to look after ourselves first and foremost," Dalglish said.
"Is that not the same in any business? If someone’s going to go you’ve got to have a replacement.
"There is as good a chance of us getting someone else in as there is someone going out.
"The owners have been fantastically supportive. There is money available if we want to bring someone else in.
"It’s not a PR exercise either, it’s a real determination from them to step forward and move Liverpool Football Club forwards and upwards."
Newcastle are believed to have rejected Liverpool’s 30 million pounds bid for England international Carroll, who made his international debut last year after scoring 11 goals for the Magpies this season.
Carroll has been sidelined by a torn thigh muscle for the last month but Liverpool believe he would be an ideal partner or replacement for Torres when he returns to fitness.
However, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has been keen to stress that retaining his biggest names was his first priority this month and he has been repeatedly assured that Carroll would not be sold.
Blackpool have snubbed two offers of around four million pounds from the Reds for Scotland star Adam, who has been one of the Premier League’s outstanding performers this term.
Liverpool’s move for Young is also a long-shot as Villa manager Gerard Houllier insists the England winger is not for sale.
Meanwhile, out-of-favour Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky has joined Nottingham Forest on loan just five months after arriving at Anfield from Fulham.