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Can Man City emulate Tottenham’s achievement last campaign and break into the Top Four? Tom Powell previews the contenders.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that midfielder Javier Mascherano wants to leave the club, although the manager is confident Fernando Torres remains committed to the club.

Mascherano is believed to have been unsettled at Anfield for some time but on returning to training on Monday he informed Hodgson of his desire to leave.

It is now expected that former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez will attempt to bring Mascherano to Inter. The player’s agent recently said Mascherano is keen to reunite with his former boss.

Hodgson, was at pains to point out that while Mascherano wanted to leave, the Argentina captain will only do be allowed to do so on Liverpool’s terms.

“Yes, he wants to leave the club,” Hodgson said. “He has made that perfectly clear. I think he wanted to leave a year go.

“He wants to leave now but he has a contract, and I expect him to honour that contract. I expect him to be a Liverpool player until the day the club chooses to accept an offer for him.”

Torres has also been the subject of sustained speculation, with Chelsea believed to be preparing a bid and Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini expressing an interest on Monday, but Hodgson insists the striker is committed to the club.

“As far as I know he is looking forward to coming back here; he is back on Monday,” Hodgson said. “He is enjoying a holiday – a well-deserved break as he has not had one for three years.

“He is spending a lot of time with his family, keeping a low profile and as far as I know he is not really speaking to anyone.

“But he has told us that he is looking forward to Monday, looking forward to getting back to work and looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That is what I know so other reports, I would suggest, are erroneous.”

Can Man City emulate Tottenham’s achievement last campaign and break into the Top Four? Tom Powell previews the contenders.

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