Inter Milan have suffered a double blow in their pursuit of Liverpool stars Dirk Kuyt and Javier Mascherano.
Yesterday, it was reported that Inter had submitted an official bid for wantaway midfielder Mascherano, and it was revealed that the offer was £6m plus former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari. But speaking after Liverpool’s comeback away win over Trabzonspor that sealed their progress to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League, Reds manager Roy Hodgson laughed off the seriousness of the bid.
He said, “I saw a fax the other day but I think it was sent tongue in cheek to be perfectly honest. It was so unbelievably far from our valuation I thought he (the sporting director Marco Branca) was putting it in to satisfy people at his club. We didn’t even bother to answer, that’s how ridiculously far from our valuation it was.”
Inter have also been linked with Kuyt in the last several days, but also speaking after the triumph in Turkey, the Dutch attacker pledged his future to Liverpool.
The former Feyenoord star said, “My future is at Liverpool.”
“I have had four great years at the club. Unfortunately I have not won any trophies but hopefully I will do in the future. The point for me was that I’m 30 years old and I wanted to know if any club in the world showed any interest in me. The club spoke to me and explained everything. They said I was really important for Liverpool and that made me a really proud person. At that point I focused my thoughts on Liverpool.”
Hodgson added, “Dirk is a player I’ve always said is an important part of my plans,” said Hodgson. “I made it perfectly clear we don’t welcome any offers and he’s not for sale. But that doesn’t mean in the background there have not been talks between his agent and the club. But as far as I’m concerned he is someone I believe in and count on. It’s important we improve the team around the likes of Gerrard, Reina, Torres and Kuyt, and not sell them.”
Kuyt, whose goal two minutes from time capped Liverpool’s late comeback and sealed their win on the night and on aggregate, reached double figures in goals in each of his first four seasons at Anfield and has 52 goals in just over 200 appearances for the club since he arrived from Feyenoord in August 2006.