English Premiership

Benitez secure at Liverpool

2010-05-19 16:49
Rafael Benitez (AFP)
Madrid - Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez's future with the English Premier League club is secure, however the Spanish manager can't say the same for star striker Fernando Torres.

With reports linking Benitez to Juventus, Benitez said on Wednesday he was intending to see out the four years on his contract after reassuring talks with the team owners.

"At this point the answer is, or it must be, with four years of contract to go that I will" continue, Benitez said.

Benitez called Torres "the foundation stone" to Liverpool's success, and believes reports linking him to clubs such as Chelsea and Barcelona are still only reports. Benitez said Liverpool hasn't received any offers for the 26-year-old Torres.

"He'll have to decide on his future sometime," Benitez said. "But I have no reason to believe he's thinking about leaving."

Benitez said Torres' focus was solely on recovering from knee surgery to play for Spain at the World Cup.

"Fernando is very well, I think he's reaching each objective (in his recovery)," Benitez said. "His priority is to recover, to play in the World Cup and to win it if he can."

Torres could also be coached by Benitez away from Liverpool one day, with Spain.

"Every Spanish coach would like the chance to do it with the national team," Benitez said at a news conference organized by Europa Press news agency. "I'm happy now but I suppose in a couple of years after (Vicente) Del Bosque finishes his work, I'd like to be national coach."

Liverpool's seventh-place finish was partly decided early on in the season, according to Benitez.

"Problems in the preseason, injuries, a poor start with defeats to Tottenham and Aston Villa and the construction of the stadium being put back all led to the team losing confidence," said Benitez, who also took a shot at Liverpool's inability to make big signings like its rivals.

"It was a difficult season. But there is a relation between salaries and results."

Benitez said he was a victim of his own success, since Champions League and FA Cup wins in his tenure have set the bar too high.

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