The fantastic signing of Joe Cole has perked up the entire Liverpool camp in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the silence of the club's star forward, Fernando Torres, is worrying as he recovers from injury away from his Liverpool teammates.
Steven Gerrard has finally publicly stated that he's staying with the Reds, which is of little surprise to anyone. Gerrard seemed very impressed by new manager Roy Hodgson since day one and was said to have pushed for his hiring. Real Madrid were linked with a move for the Liverpool skipper but ruled out such a deal based upon value and age.
Torres should follow Gerrard's lead and make his position clear to Liverpool supporters, who have been tortured all summer by speculation and rumors. A photo of him wearing a Liverpool scarf after Spain's World Cup glory isn't enough proof. Hodgson also deserves to know of his intentions so he can find a proper replacement for the Spanish superstar if he decides to leave Anfield.
At the moment he is recovering from a groin injury that he picked up in a cameo appearance in Spain's World Cup final victory over Holland. It is understandable why Torres hasn't come out and clarified his future, but it wouldn't take much effort to end such speculation. If he's leaning toward staying, all he has to do is ring up a journalist friend or get in touch with his agent to put a short statement on the Liverpool website.
His silence is worrying as Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, and Inter Milan have been mentioned as possible suitors for Liverpool's No. 9. Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has stated that he's content with his current group of strikers, but it could all just be a smokescreen as Roman Abramovich's money men prepare a massive bid.
The Blues might be an unrealistic target, but Manchester City may be a more intriguing option. City have just acquired a player whom Torres had been desperate for Liverpool to sign, fellow Spaniard David Silva, and have shown that they want to assemble a team of stars similar to the Real Madrid "Galácticos policy." The club have shown limitless ambition and have the spending power to entice a player like Torres to join up.
Another option could be Barcelona, but it is unclear whether they have enough funds available after the signing of David Villa and their main target remains Arsenal's Cesc Fàbregas. If Inter Milan decides to sell off forward Mario Balotelli, a window for his former manager Rafael Benítez to swoop in for Torres may appear. The ex-Liverpool boss would be eager to bring his top Anfield signing to the Nerazzurri.
Every Liverpool supporter remembers the position Michael Owen put Benítez in when he moved to Real Madrid on the eve of their 2004-05 campaign. Like Torres, Owen was once a "Kop icon" but soured his Reds legacy to some Liverpool supporters by walking out on the club just days before the Premier League opener.
Despite his heroics for the Reds, Torres might develop a similar reputation if he decides to drag out this long-running transfer saga and leave Hodgson scrambling for his successor. Torres must not follow the path of Owen by leaving Reds supporters guessing as he risks losing his status as an Anfield icon.
With less than a month before Liverpool's Premier League opener against Arsenal, Torres must either commit himself to the Reds or make clear his intentions of leaving if he feels that his future is best away from the Merseyside giants.