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Roy Hodgson looking for Liverpool cash guarantee

last updated Wednesday 30th June 2010, 8:29 AM
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
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Liverpool are reported elsewhere to be extremely close to agreeing terms with Roy Hodgson to become their new manager.

However there are other reports that Hodgson is still seeking assurances from the club's owners over what proportion of funds from player sales will be made available to strengthen the squad.

On Tuesday night, Liverpool agreed a compensation package with Fulham, who have been seeking £2.5 million to release the 62-year-old from his contract, and talks continued to progress positively.

Hodgson is understood to have one or two issues that he wants to resolve before he signs a contract at Anfield although it is still hoped he will be presented as Rafael Benitez's successor by the end of this week. It's not thought Hodgson's demands are prohibitive.

If Hodgson does move then it will end a long process with Liverpool have initially sought permission to speak to him four weeks ago. Fulham were reluctant to allow that while it also appeared the Anfield club were looking at other candidates.

Liverpool are believed to have around £15 million set aside to bolster a squad which finished a disappointing seventh in the Premier League last season, though club sources admit that will be reduced by whatever compensation is paid to Fulham.

Though Anfield's financial straits preclude any increase on that figure, Hodgson is thought to be concerned at the prospect of losing several of Liverpool's most valuable assets and not being handed the finances to boost his resources.

Should he take over at Anfield, his first task is likely to be rubber-stamping Yossi Benayoun's £5.5 million switch to Chelsea, while Javier Mascherano is expected to depart.

Doubts continue to linger over the futures of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, too. Though reports that Real Madrid have lodged a £20 million offer for the Liverpool and England captain are believed to be premature, the Spanish side's new manager, Jose Mourinho, is a known admirer of the 30-year-old.

Gerrard, like Torres, is concerned that the continuing doubts over Liverpool's owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, may compromise the club's ability to compete on and off the field and, while he has not yet made a decision on where he will play next season, he is known to be considering his future.

His strike partner, meanwhile, is the subject of concerted interest from Chelsea, while the new Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, has also made it clear he would like to tempt the Spanish international back to his homeland, though any such deal would be dependent on the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Liverpool's senior players have been kept informed of developments in the club's search for Benitez's replacement and have raised no objections to the appointment of the Fulham manager, but Hodgson is nevertheless likely to seek talks with Gerrard and Torres in a bid to keep them on Merseyside.

Should either choose to leave, though, he does not wish to suffer a repeat of Benitez's final summer at Liverpool, when the Spaniard discovered he had far less money to spend than he had previously thought.

Source Rory Smith and Jason Burt at Daily Telegraph
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