x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Mascherano wants out of Liverpool

Roy Hodgson, the club's manager, confirmed that the Argentina captain wants to leave Anfield.

Javier Mascherano, right, has told Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, he wants to leave Anfield after three-and-a-half years at the club.
Javier Mascherano, right, has told Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, he wants to leave Anfield after three-and-a-half years at the club.

Liverpool's summer signing of Joe Cole, the England midfielder, may have persuaded Steven Gerrard to stay at the club, but the same cannot be said of Javier Mascherano, his central midfield partner. Yesterday, Roy Hodgson, the club's manager, confirmed that the Argentina captain wants to leave Anfield. Hodgson has been speaking to Liverpool's key figures since taking over from Rafa Benitez and while Gerrard, his captain, has indicated he wants to stay, Mascherano is keen to move on, with reports linking him with a reunion with Benitez at Inter Milan. Hodgson has had more positive news from Fernando Torres, the Spain striker, who has confirmed his intention to return to the club on Monday and to remain at Anfield. "Yes, he wants to leave the club," confirmed Hodgson when asked about Mascherano. "He has made that perfectly clear. I think he wanted to leave a year go. He wants to leave now but he is contracted to Liverpool so whether he leaves will be our decision."

Recent speculation suggested Torres was keen to play Champions League football this season and was considering his options. Hodgson said that was not the message the club had received from the World Cup winner. "As far as I know he is looking forward to coming back here; he is back on Monday," said the Englishman. "He is enjoying a holiday - a well-deserved break as he has not had one for three years. "He is spending a lot of time with his family, keeping a low profile and as far as I know he is not really speaking to anyone. "But he has told us that he is looking forward to Monday, looking forward to getting back to work and looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That is what I know so other reports, I would suggest, are erroneous."

Bolton Wanderers have signed Marcos Alonso, the left-back from Real Madrid, on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. "When we are investing money in transfers I want to do it with young, talented players," Owen Coyle, the manager, said on the club's website. "He isn't the finished article yet - he's a young player making his way - but you don't get through at Real Madrid without having a bit about you."

Alonso, 19, comes from a footballing family. His grandfather played for Real in the 1950s and 60s and his father spent five years at Barcelona in the 1980s. Chris Brunt has set his sights on ending West Bromwich Albion's yo-yo existence between the Premier League and the Championship after signing a new three-year contract. The Northern Ireland international has committed himself to the Baggies until at least the summer of 2013 and the deal also includes a further 12-month option.Brunt joined Albion three years ago from Sheffield Wednesday in a £3 million (Dh16.8m) move and has been involved in two promotions and one relegation campaign in his time at The Hawthorns.

But the 25-year-old is hoping West Brom can now establish themselves in the top flight. He said: "I've won promotion with the club twice now and I want to top that by helping to establish Albion in the Premier League. "That's the challenge facing the coaching staff and players and, if we all pull together, I believe we can have a successful season." Newcastle appear set to sign Sol Campbell, with the veteran defender poised to join the promoted club today. The former England centre-back, 35, underwent a medical at St James' Park yesterday.

* PA