Rafael Benitez has warned Manchester City they can forget about trying to sign Fernando Torres this summer.
Roberto Mancini revealed on Thursday that City “must buy a top player” and confirmed that they would be among the bidders for Torres should he become available.
“We are a top team and I think all the top teams are interested in Torres, but sometimes it depends on the player because they want to play in the Champions League,” Mancini said. “If we don’t get into the fourth position, it will be difficult.
“All the top players want to play in the Champions League. But I want to win the Premier League – this is my desire even ahead of the Champions League, and I want players to understand that Manchester City are an important project for the future and that they can come here not only if we get fourth position.
“For me, he [Torres] is, with Carlos [Tevez], Rooney, Messi, Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo, the best in Europe. I have read that Liverpool have to sell one or two players but I don’t know what their situation is exactly.”
However, after their 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League, Benitez insisted Torres is happy at Anfield.
“Torres is happy,” he said. “The thing he’s thinking about now is being ready as soon as possible and that’s it. From the beginning, he’s said he’s been very happy at Anfield.
“We have said repeatedly that Fernando is not for sale and he still has three years of his contract remaining, so how can they sign a player who does not wish to leave?”
While Benitez admits Liverpool missed Torres in Madrid, he insists they have other options.
“I think we proved the other day that we can score goals,” he said. “It doesn’t matter which player, but we have players who can score. Of course we have to push and attack and I’m sure someone will score.
“I would love to have had more strikers but I didn’t have Torres this time.”