IT'S NOT called the silly season for nothing – but never mind silly, this is getting f***ing ridiculous!
If memory serves me correctly – and I might be a year older and have recently taking a kicking but I'm pretty sure it does – Liverpool finished second last season.
The closest to the title coming to Anfield for years, the most consistent team in recent seasons in Europe, the best striker in the world...
And yet, apparently, everyone is getting off.
Yep, the players are looking around at Anfield and thinking: "Nah, had enough of these losers, I'm off."
Or so the media would have you believe.
Alonso, Mascherano, Torres, Benayoun, Babel, Reina and Arbeloa - all packing their bags according to the hacks.
Now while some of the moves that have been touted around kind of make sense - (like Arbeloa going now the £17m England right back Glen Johnson has arrived) - others, well they stink like a field of horseshit on the hottest day of the year.
And the main culprits...
Sunday, June 14: Sunday Express: Torres is going to Manchester United.
Sunday, June 21: Screws of the World: Torres is going to Chelsea.
Is he? Really? Is he f***! Those two "stories" are two of the worst I've ever seen.
Don't get me wrong, in journalism, reporters, editors, sub editors - they're all guilty of writing a "flyer".
A flyer is basically an educated guess. So, for example, take Mascherano. One of, if not the, best holding midfielder in the world right now.
Barcelona - arguably the best team in the world right now.
But a team whose one chink in their armour is they need a destroyer, a 90-miles an hour midfielder who never tires, who can nick the ball from the opposition and give to the boys who can play.
So, in other words, a Mascherano.
That would be regarded as a decent flyer - something that ultimately could have a grain of truth in it. But flyers are like sticking a pin in the paper for the Grand National - they're a guess, a punt, a shot in the dark.
But they have to be believable. Make you think they COULD happen.
And that's where the two stories on Torres fall down. Because no-one who read that, regardless of who they support, can possibly have believed it.
Why would he go? Liverpool were playing the best football in the league at the end of the season. Manchester United stumbled over the finishing line and have since been relieved of the services of two of their best players.
Chelsea have a got a new manager, unproven in England. God knows who he will buy and sell and whether they will work. And what's the bets that if they have a bad run Abramovich will wield the axe again and go searching for Hiddink?
So why would Torres leave? Well he wouldn't. He'd sign a new deal - which he has done. He'd say the speculation is bollocks - which he has done. And he's pledge his future to Liverpool - which he has done (twice).
So what next week - Torres to Madrid? Don't bet against it. The silly season refers to the months without live sport when us journos have to fill the footie pages with something or other.
Only there used to be rules. But now, it seems, they've been broken and any old tat will do.