Broughton allays transfer fears

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Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has dismissed suggestions Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard will have to be sold to ease the club's mounting debt.

Financial reports released for the first time show the club itself made an operating loss before tax of £16million in the year ending July 31 2009, down from a profit £10.2million profit in the previous 12 months. With their rivals sensing weakness there have already been reports of Chelsea preparing a £70million bid for Torres and Real Madrid considering a £35million offer for Gerrard.

"There is absolutely no reason to sell either Torres or Gerrard," said Broughton, brought in last month by the co-owners to oversee the sale of the club.

"I don't want to sell either of them. Rafa does not want to sell either of them, the club is not looking to sell them, "We don't need to do it to pay off any debt.

"Torres is one of the great players and every club would love to have him. We have got him and there is no intention of selling him."

On Thursday Broughton held his first long-awaited meeting with Benitez, during which the pair discussed the current situation regarding the search for new owners and also plans for the summer squad rebuilding.

There are further get-togethers scheduled but with debt levels increasing at the club it seems unlikely Benitez will be handed the £50million-plus he feels he needs to get the club back into Champions League contention.

"We have met, it was a frank exchange of views, constructive and very helpful," said Broughton. "The squad does need strengthening and that is an on-going process which will not be stopped by the sale.

"We have sat down with Rafa to determine what is the strength of it (the squad), what it needs, who are the right players and who needs to be sold. What I have asked from Rafa is what any football club board ask at the end of the season.

"It is for an appraisal of each of the players, where the weak links are, which players he would prefer to sell if he had the opportunity, which positions he needs to fill, who are his prime candidates and what would be his priorities."

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

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European News
Premier League
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Steven Gerrard

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