Friday, 28 January 2011

Bye bye Torres? Spanish hitman asks Liverpool to consider Chelsea's £40m offer

Liverpool face a fight to hold on to Fernando Torres after he asked them to consider Chelsea's sensational £40million bid.
The Blues lodged the stunning offer with their Barclays Premier League rivals but Liverpool revealed they have rejected the deal.
However, it has now emerged that Torres has hinted he would like to join the champions by asking his club to reconsider the offer.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is expected to return with an increased offer for the 26-year-old, who had a £50m get-out clause written into his Anfield contract last summer.
The Barclays Premier League champions have been admirers of Torres for many years and have now made a move to try to get their title bid back on track.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has refused to be drawn on his club's bid for Torres - but is happy that 'the club are trying to do everything they can to improve the squad'.
Liverpool this morning confirmed they have rejected a bid - believed to be in the region of £40million - from the Blues for their star striker.
But Ancelotti said: 'I don't want to speak about this, you will have to ask the club. He is not my player and I have to have respect for Liverpool. I don't like to speak about this.'
Ancelotti had previously intimated that the club's protracted pursuit of Benfica defender David Luiz would be their only major move of the January transfer window.
But, asked if the Torres bid had therefore caught him by surprise, he said: "I'm not surprised, because I know very well what the club is doing now.
I am happy because the club is doing a fantastic job in this transfer market. The club is trying to do everything to improve the squad.'
Didier Drogba's below-par form this season, owing largely to the Ivory Coast striker suffering from malaria, has been a concern for Chelsea but Ancelotti insisted Torres was not being targeted to replace his current attacking talisman.
'Drogba doesn't have a problem,' he said. 'He can play with anybody.
'For tomorrow I don't need more strikers. Maybe in the future, I don't know.'
Attempting to put an end to the topic of conversation, he said: 'Tomorrow we have an important game against Everton. I want to speak about this. If you don't want to speak about Everton, I can go and have lunch.'
Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, are said to be determined to fend off Chelsea's interest and keep hold of the Spain World Cup winner, who arrived at Anfield from Atletico Madrid for £21m in the summer of 2007.
Torres has suffered a difficult season after returning injured from Spain's World Cup campaign in South Africa last summer.
However, the appointment of Kenny Dalglish as manager following the departure of Roy Hodgson appears to have lifted the striker, who has shown his prolific form of old in recent weeks, scoring three goals in four matches.
Chelsea will have to move quickly if they want to tie up a deal for Torres before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, but it will take a huge offer to persuade Liverpool chairman John W Henry to sanction the sale.
Henry will be wary of a backlash from the Anfield faithful should they lose their talisman, while the likes of skipper Steven Gerrard would also see his departure as a sign that the club lacks ambition, and may even force him to consider his own future.
Torres's contract, which runs until the summer of 2013, is worth £110,000 a week but Chelsea could easily double that.

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