Football

Reds must keep key duo - Torres

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Liverpool striker Fernando Torres believes the club have to hang on to the likes of Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano if they are to depose Manchester United as Barclays Premier League champions.

The two midfielders are major targets for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively but Torres is in agreement with manager Rafael Benitez that neither should be sold - despite potential offers in excess of £25millon each.

"I worry about losing my team-mates but if we can keep our best players and bring in some more, we'll be even stronger for next season," he said.

On Monday Alonso failed to pledge his full commitment to the Merseysiders while Barca president Joan Laporta again hinted they were willing to use Mascherano's international team-mate Lionel Messi to lure the Argentina captain away from Anfield.

The increasing speculation about the two is a concern for Torres, who himself signed an improved contract with the club towards the end of last season.

"The important thing is we're getting closer to the title. It's been frustrating for me because three years without a trophy for Liverpool is too long," he added.

"The next one is coming, though - I'm sure of it. Man United have been the strongest team in Europe but they've lost an important player (Real Madrid-bound Cristiano Ronaldo), so maybe it's our time now.

"My ambition is to win trophies with Liverpool. We must win something next season.

"And then, with Spain, it's obvious that the 2010 World Cup is our big challenge. I hope 2009-10 will be a great season for me."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Xabi Alonso
Fernando Torres
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Liverpool

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