FERNANDO TORRES yesterday ended months of speculation about his future by pledging to stay with Liverpool.
The £60m-rated striker had been linked with moves to Manchester City and Chelsea but has now reassured Reds fans that his commitment to Liverpool is as strong as ever.
“My commitment and loyalty to the club and to the fans is the same as it was on my first day when I signed,” said Torres, 26, who has scored 56 goals in 79 appearances for the Reds.
“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. I’m looking forward to starting the season and playing with my team-mates and for the fans. This is the best club in the country so the targets and expectations are always high.”
“From my first day I got the same welcome as Stevie [Gerrard] or Carra [Jamie Carragher] or players who have been here for a long time. I felt at home from the first day.
“I feel the fans love me and everyone knows I am really happy here and really happy to play at Anfield.”
The news will come as a boost to Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson who visited Torres during the Spaniard’s holidays in order to persuade the forward to stay with the club. “I really appreciated the fact that Roy came out to see me while I was on my holidays,” he added. “He told me about his plans for the club and what he wanted from me and I appreciated that.”
“I hope he will be the right man to reach the targets of Liverpool Football Club and I am really looking forward to working with him.”
Torres’s pledge is be the perfect fillip to Liverpool’s fans, who made the striker the most popular Premier League player when it came to shirt sales last season.
He beat the likes of team-mate Gerrard and Wayne Rooney in becoming most popular name to be printed on the back of replica shirts, according to a list compiled by SportingiD.
Reds serve notice of imminent takeover
LIVERPOOL’S takeover took another stop closer to completion yesterday after the club and several potential owners, including Chinese businessman Kenny Huang, alerted the Premier League to a possible change in ownership.
Under new Premier League rules, outlined in the wake of the Portsmouth fiasco, all prospective owners are obliged to give the league 10 days’ notice of a takeover and to prove they have sufficient funds to sustain the club.