Inter targets Liverpool Trio

Inter Milan will look into moves for Liverpool's star trio Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano as they close in on appointing Rafa Benitez as their next manager.

After Fabio Capello's decision to decisively commit to the England job for another two years, Inter have made it their primary objective to install Benitez as Jose Mourinho's successor. The Spaniard is set to leave Anfield after being offered a £4million pay-off and a quick return to the game with the European champions could suit everyone concerned.

Inter  director Lele Oriali told Il Corriere dello Sport.: 'To Interisti he gave a great joy: the Champions League win in 2005 against Milan. He has a certain affinity with the Nerazzurri.

'But the choice will be made by our president, Massimo Moratti. He will listen to his staff and then the last word is his.

'As for the team, they are convinced of their qualities and strength. They are a winning team. Whoever comes to Inter will not upset everything.'

Inter will also test Liverpool's vulnerability to offers for their players. Respected Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Benitez particularly wants to take Mascherano with him. The Argentina captain had been ready to commit his future to Liverpool but recently shelved talks about a new contract and is also being targeted by Chelsea and Barcelona.

A deal for Gerrard could be a non-starter, given the Liverpool captain's fractious relationship with Benitez, and Real Madrid are also pushing hard for him. Torres has a closer bond with Benitez, though Liverpool would resist a deal for their talismanic striker.

The Spain hot shot has repeatedly insisted he is happy on Merseyside, while regularly adding the caveat that the team must be improved. Chelsea are also interested in the former Atletico Madrid and could offer as much as £70million. Inter may be able to compete at that level if they sell Diego Milito or Samuel Eto'o to Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, axed Real Madrid boss Manuel Pellegrini could be a contender to replace Benitez at Anfield. The Chilean is understood to be keen on working in the Barclays Premier League and is already said to have offers from England, Turkey and Italy.

Liverpool would, however, struggle to land Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman was interested in the post in the winter when his days as Russia boss were coming to an end, but he has since signed a contract with Turkey through to Euro 2012, which has a further two-year option. Sources indicate he will not ask to break his contract and any deal would rest on Liverpool agreeing a pricey deal with the Turkish FA.

Hiddink had also been considered by Inter, but a move was not encouraged and it is hard to see the 63-year-old turning down the European champions while welcoming a move to the difficult environment of Liverpool.

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