Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to get Fernando Torres back to form and scoring goals.
The 26-year-old has been alarmingly out of sorts this season, scoring just once, and his evident frustrations have already sparked speculation about his happiness at an underachieving Liverpool.
However, Wayne Rooney’s apparent desire to leave Manchester United has had the rumour mill working overtime, throwing out the possibility of the Red Devils making an audacious bid to buy Torres as a replacement for the England international.
Hodgson knows if his striker is scoring goals he is happy and the speculation about his future will be less intense, although he accepts it will never go away.
“I am not naive enough to think there is no danger we will ever lose a player like Fernando Torres,” he said.
“I can only hope we won’t and I will make certain I do everything in my power to keep him happy at the club, help him improve his current form and to get him playing for Liverpool as he has in the past.”
Torres has been rested for tonight’s Europa League tie against Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo but Hodgson could still not dodge questions about his misfiring striker.
Asked about the possible threat of a United bid he added: “I think I’d have to say we’d cross that bridge when we come to it.
“I am pretty sure when a great player like Wayne Rooney is looking to leave his club Manchester United will be in a position to target an awful lot of players around the world.
“I don’t think Fernando Torres would be the only player they will be targeting or [we would be] the only club worried their star striker is going to be a target.
“They will have the opportunity to replace him with many star strikers around the world, so all I can say is I am not naive to the situation.”