ROY HODGSON today insisted Liverpool have not received an official bid from Inter for Dirk Kuyt – as he turned the spotlight on the player’s agent.
Rob Jansen, who represents the Holland international, claimed yesterday that his client would be open to the prospect of rejoining his former manager Rafa Benitez at the San Siro.
However, Kuyt has never given any indication to Liverpool that he wants to leave and Hodgson has been emphatic in his stance that the 30-year-old is not for sale.
When Benitez left Anfield in June, he signed an agreement stating that he would not return to buy any of his former players and that clause is still valid.
But Hodgson – whose side face Trabzonspor in the second leg of their Europa League play-off here tonight – has accused Jansen of ignoring that agreement.
“Dirk Kuyt has not told me that he wants to go,” said Hodgson. “I can only repeat that we have not received an offer from any club for Dirk Kuyt. We don’t welcome an offer. It is very unlikely we could receive any offer from any club now that we would entertain.
“This is obviously something going on behind the scenes, possibly to the manager of Inter. We haven’t received an offer and at this very late stage in the transfer window, it would be remarkably unusual for us to accept an offer for a player that we don’t want to leave for money we don’t need.
“I need the player, I don’t need the money. So I would suggest that, with due respect, if his agent has got serious plans to move him from the club, he should have been working during the last four to five weeks, not in the last three or four days.
“We have not received an offer. When he left the club (Rafa) Benitez signed an agreement that said he would not poach players and, if I am right, that still applies. This is the time of year when agents talk to the mass media.”
Hodgson, who has admitted Liverpool have made an approach for Fulham left-back Paul Konchesky, will be without six senior professionals this evening, most notably Steven Gerrard (back strain) and Fernando Torres.
Those absences, undoubtedly, will make Liverpool’s task of trying to reach the group stages all the more difficult but Hodgson has faith that the men he will select for duty will be good enough to see the job through.
“It is a test of strength of the squad,” he said. “The only player who is left back on Merseyside who arguably could have played is Torres. Daniel Agger is still recovering from concussion.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool yesterday confirmed the departures of young striker Kristzian Nemeth to Greek side Olympiakos and Albert Aquilani on a season-long loan to Juventus; Javier Mascherano, though, is no near moving to Barcelona.
“Negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs,” said Hodgson. “I’m seriously hoping in the next couple of days things will be sorted one way or another.”