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Sunday, January 20, 2008
Hicks: Reds takeover deal 'complete fabrication'

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists he has no intention of accepting an offer for his stake in the club.

Reports over the weekend had suggested Dubai International Capital - the investment arm of the Dubai Government - was preparing to launch a 500million bid to buy the club.

BBC Sport reported on Saturday an offer was in the process of being made to American co-owners Hicks and George Gillett.

And a report from a Merseyside-based media agency went so far today as to suggest the club had indeed been sold to DIC.

However Hicks released a statement in which he described the latest report as 'a complete fabrication and ... absolutely and categorically untrue'.

Hicks added: 'I have not received any offer to purchase the club from the DIC or anyone else, much less accepted any such offer. Nor do I have any intention of doing so.

'Whoever is behind this false report, the facts are that I and my family have always been, and remain, fully committed to co-owning the club; that no-one in my family has ever indicated any intention or desire to sell our stake in the club; and that we expect and intend to be co-owners of the club, and to actively and enthusiastically support the club's manager, players and fans for many years to come.'

Hicks' statement was released through financial and corporate communications consultancy FD.

Reports had claimed on Saturday that DIC were set to make an offer for the complete buy-out of the American duo.

The Dubai-based group were close to their own takeover of the Anfield club 12 months ago before the Reds' then chairman David Moores decided to go with the USA investors.

On Thursday a spokesman for Hicks insisted neither of the owners was considering selling their share and both remained fully committed to the club.

Star striker Fernando Torres, meanwhile, believes Benitez's future is safe at Anfield despite the recent revelations of the co-owners meeting with Jurgen Klinsmann and disagreements over transfer budgets.

The Spain striker, who was brought to the club by countryman Benitez in the summer, said: 'It's all a lie. Benitez will not leave and he will not be sacked.

'I can't see that happening. I don't think English football has lost its patience like it seems.'

The 23-year-old, speaking to Spanish newspaper Publico, also spoke of his satisfaction with life on Merseyside.

'It's different here (to Madrid). I can go and have a coffee without any pressure. I can go for a walk and not be reminded at every step that I am a footballer.That allows me to be more calm on the pitch and enjoy myself more.

'I can see that I play for a team which is respected by its rivals.

'And it is easy to get along with (Steven) Gerrard on the pitch. You don't have to do anything strange, wherever you move he gives you the ball. He is fantastic.'

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