Fernando Torres has insisted he is looking to the future after a disappointing season - and that future appears to involve him staying at Liverpool. Despite speculation linking Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City with bids and Torres being quoted as saying that the club needs to match his own ambitions by bringing in quality signings, Liverpool have always been confident the Spain striker would still be at Anfield for the start of the next campaign.
And Jose Antonio, his agent, yesterday offered assurances about the player's commitment. "For the moment I can assure fans that Fernando will continue at Liverpool next season," he told Punto Radio in Spain. "Everything is down to Liverpool's attitude but for the time being Fernando is happy at the club and has a good contract. Liverpool have not spoken to us about his future, so he is just concentrating on playing at the World Cup."
But Fabio Aurelio, the Brazilian left-back, is to leave Liverpool next week after turning down the club's offer of a new pay-as-you-play deal. Aurelio's Anfield career has been littered with injuries and his final year was indicative of that. He missed the start of the campaign after sustaining a freak knee problem while playing football with his children and a thigh problem at the end of February prematurely ended his season.
Because of his fitness record the club offered the 30-year-old a flexible deal based on the matches he played, but Aurelio wanted the security of a more permanent arrangement and has decided to end his four-year stay at Anfield. "Fabio's contract is nearly finished and he is going to leave us," said Rafa Benitez, the Liverpool manager. "We had been trying to work something out with regards to an extension but it was a pity that we couldn't. He has given us absolutely fantastic service. The one problem we had with Fabio was that he suffered too many injuries and it was such a pity because he has great quality." * PA