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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Gerrard offers Martinez 'full support'

Steven Gerrard confessed he was not aware of any advancements made in discussions between Liverpool and Roberto Martinez on Friday, but assured the potential new Anfield boss that he will get his full support if appointed.

• Martinez wants assurances
• Whelan: Martinez holding Reds talks
• Hubbard: Is Roberto right for Reds?

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan claimed on Friday that Liverpool had made an offer to Martinez after "constructive talks" with the Spaniard. The two parties will convene again on Tuesday when a deal may well be completed.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard is currently preparing to lead England into Euro 2012, with Saturday's friendly in Norway the first of two warm-up matches. He was alerted to the Martinez news during Friday's press conference, and revealed his admiration for the Wigan boss despite staying guarded over the potential arrival.

"That's news to me, my focus has been on the game," Gerrard said. "I am aware that Roberto Martinez has spoken to the club and everything I've heard about the guy has been good and positive.

"We'll have to wait and see what the club decide, but if he is the manager he's certainly got my full support."

Should Martinez pen a deal at Liverpool, he will face the job of replacing Kenny Dalglish - the man still revered by the Kop faithful. Current England boss Roy Hodgson knows all about that challenge, having suffered a tough reign at Anfield with fans desperate for Dalglish to be the manager, and Gerrard spoke highly of his former boss when asked about England's chances under Hodgson.

"I got on with Roy fantastically well. He came to Liverpool at a difficult time because the fantastic supporters at Liverpool really wanted Kenny. From day one Roy had a really tough job.

"I can assure everyone Roy is a terrific manager, he's a born winner, he works on a daily basis to make his team difficult to beat and he can be a successful England manager."

Reds striker Andy Carroll will start the weekend's friendly, with Danny Welbeck still not fit enough to feature. Gerrard is a big fan of his club colleague and believes he can play a significant part for England in the coming months.

"He's been in scintillating form of late, he's been unplayable for us. It's good to see in a Liverpool player, and I hope he can reproduce that form for England because, if he does, he'll be a big bonus for the country. Defence finds him very difficult to play against.

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