Torres exit comments denied by agent

FERNANDO TORRES’ agent has denied making reported comments regarding the striker’s future at Liverpool.

Agent Jose Antonio Martin reportedly refused to commit the Spain forward’s long-term future to Anfield and indicated he could move to another Premier League club.

But Martin insists he did not make the remarks and is adamant 26-year-old Torres, who is contracted at Liverpool until 2013, will remain with the Reds.

“For many months I have not spoken to the England press because their quotes are totally false,” said Martin.

“Now is not the moment to speak about this issue because Torres is focused completely on his work for Spain.

“After the World Cup (player-agency company) Bahia Internacional will possibly meet with the player but the truth is that Fernando has signed a deal with Liverpool which is for the present and the future.”

It was also reported Torres was set for a make-or-break meeting with Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson in the coming days to discuss his future, but Bahia Internacional sources have dismissed this claim as “simple speculation”.

Meanwhile Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has reiterated hisinterest in Joe Cole but admits the club are not close to a deal with the former Chelsea midfielder.

“I signed Joe as an 11-year-old at West Ham and I think he is an outstanding player, good professional, great attitude, top player,” theTottenham manager said.

But Redknapp recognises that he is facing fierce competition for Cole’s signature and is adamant that he does not expect to reach an agreement in the immediate future.

“I would love to have Joe at Tottenham but I think there are lots of teams in for him so we will have to wait and see,” he continued.

It emerged also that Redknapp is interested in Uruguay and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan following his impressive World Cup, although he fears the 31-year-old’s salary would be a stumbling block. Forlan has since said that he is not interested in a move to White Hart Lane and Redknapp concedes that the ex-Manchester United man is probably beyond the reach of his North London club.

“He is a player we would like,” Redknapp said. “But I think he might just be out of our range. He has had an outstanding World Cup and there wouldn’t be too many players at the World Cup who have done better than Forlan. He has scored goals, he has worked hard, he is a top player.”

Keisuke Honda’s agent insists the Japan midfielder has no immediate plans to leave CSKA Moscow although he refused to rule out a move away from Russia should a big European club show real interest.

The 24-year-old, who has been linked with a move to AC Milan, had a successful World Cup and was his side’s outstanding performer as they reached the last 16 for the first time on foreign soil before bowing out to Paraguay.

Honda moved to CSKA at the end of December 2009 after just under two years at VVV-Venlo in Holland and made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in the Champions League against Sevilla to send the Russian team through to the quarter-finals for the first time.

His performances in South Africa have seen Honda’s profile rise and while his agent Kees Ploegsma insists there have been no approaches, he admits they would be receptive.

“He plays in a beautiful city for an important club, but obviously if there are offers from big European clubs it’s difficult to say no. At this time there are no bids and all in all he is happy at CSKA. We’ll see.”

* The Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s World Player of the Year awards are to merge. The new award – which will be called the Ballon d’Or – will be handed out in January.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi currently holds both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year titles.


Lifestyle

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

The model, presenter and musician chats to Lauren Taylor about how different it is having a newborn in her 40s.Myleene Klass on her post-baby body: ‘I’ve got two stone to lose but I won’t berate myself’

Paris haute couture fashion week concludes today, rounding off four action-packed days of catwalk shows in the French capital.Feminism to face tattoos: 7 Paris haute couture fashion week moments you might have missed

Originating in China, the deadly virus has similar symptoms to the flu.Coronavirus: What you need to know if you are baout to travel

More From The Irish Examiner