Liverpool FC blast Tottenham Hotspur over Robbie Keane
RAFA BENITEZ has told Spurs to put their money where their manager's mouth is if their interest in re-signing Robbie Keane is anything more than talk.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp angered Anfield officials earlier this week when he told a press conference he would be lying if he said he did not want Keane back at White Hart Lane.
Liverpool have stopped short of making a formal complaint to the Premier League about the matter but chief executive Rick Parry has written to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy seeking his observations.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has also been made aware of Liverpool's concerns and now Benitez has thrown the ball back in Spurs' court by telling them to go about business the right way if they really want the out-of-favour striker.
The Reds boss is particularly unhappy about Redknapp's comments because Spurs accused Liverpool of tapping Keane up before the Reds signed him for ÃÂ£20m last summer.
"We were not happy so we have told them that we are not happy with the comments that appeared in the press conference," said Benitez, "especially because when we signed Keane from them we did things the correct way and they were complaining, so I was surprised about this.
"I do not see any difference with Keane. He has been training and he played as a substitute against Wigan the other day and that is the situation.
"Maybe they wanted the player, but they have to do things properly. If they want the player they must make an official offer and then we will say 'yes' or 'no', but we have to do things properly."
Should Spurs decide to make a formal offer for Keane they would only have until 5.00pm on Monday to complete any deal and there are no guarantees that Liverpool would sell, particularly as it would be difficult for them to bring in a replacement before the transfer window closes.
But the uncertainty over Keane's position at Anfield is likely to continue until then and all eyes will be on Benitez's team selection for tomorrow's Premier League game against Chelsea to see if the Irish international is selected.
The Reds boss is set to recall Xabi Alonso and Albert Riera to his starting line-up as Liverpool go in search of their first league win in more than a month.
Benitez is backing Fernando Torres to rediscover the form which made him one of the world's most feared strikers before a succession of hamstring injuries hampered his form and fitness.
Torres was substituted in the second half of Wednesday night's 1-1 draw with Wigan following a disappointing display by his own high standards, but Benitez believes it is only a matter of time before the Spanish striker comes good.
He added: "The other day he was tired. We knew that this could be the situation beforehand because he is doing a lot of work after his injury to build up the strength in his legs.
"This has meant he has not been able to do as much stamina and power work as usual, so we were not surprised that he was tired against Wigan.
"When you have a player like Torres he needs to be fit and fresh.
"The difference with this game is that we have had an extra day between games to work with him so hopefully he will be better."