Hodgson to hold on to Gerrard and Torres

Roy Hodgson has made holding on to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres his first priority as Liverpool manager. The 62-year-old was confirmed as Rafa Benitez's successor at Anfield and he will hold talks with captain Gerrard and Torres in an attempt to set out his vision for the club.

Jose Mourinho has made signing Gerrard a priority for Real Madrid, with reports in Spain today claiming their attempts to sign him had been stepped up. New Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, wants to take Torres to the Nou Camp after the World Cup, while Chelsea are also interested in the Spain international.

But Hodgson said: 'I don't think there's anybody here at the club who would welcome losing them. Certainly the fans wouldn't welcome losing them and I'm sure will do everything we can to make certain they stay with us. I'll be trying to persuade them that this is the place to be. I'll ask them to give me a chance to work with you and give us a chance to improve on last season. It would be foolish to give guarantees that it's going to happen because I can't speak for the players themselves, but I'll be doing my best to keep them. There are a couple of meetings this afternoon with senior players, in particular Steven (Gerrard) and Jamie (Carragher), and I'll contact the rest by telephone. I will make certain that before the end of the week I have had a conversation with all of the players to tell them I'm here and I am looking forward to welcoming them back when they come.'

Hodgson will be encouraged by Gerrard welcoming his appointment, but Madrid still believe they can tempt the England midfielder to the Bernabeu. 'The club have made a good appointment in Roy Hodgson,' said Gerrard. 'I believe he is the right man for Liverpool.'

Hosgson signed a three-year contract to become Liverpool boss after impressing in charge of Fulham, who he led to the Europa League final last season. The former Inter Milan boss admitted it had been difficult to leave the west London club, but he is extremely proud of his new job.

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