BBC BLOGS - Phil McNulty
« Previous | Main | Next »

Torres bid tests Liverpool and Chelsea

Post categories:

Phil McNulty | 14:54 UK time, Friday, 28 January 2011

Chelsea's pursuit of Fernando Torres - and how this attempted transfer is concluded over the coming days - will tell us much about the hunger of Roman Abramovich and his new counterparts at Liverpool.

Abramovich has been accused of taking his eye off the ball at Stamford Bridge and presiding over an ageing and declining squad after pulling in his purse strings. At worst he has been charged with losing interest in the club he once funded so lavishly.

The first stirrings that Abramovich may be ready to rekindle his desire to back coach Carlo Ancelotti came with the move for Benfica's David Luiz, but a better measure will be provided by how seriously he goes for Torres after an offer of about £35m was rejected by Liverpool.

Abramovich's arrival on Anfield's doorstep is also a test for Liverpool's new owners, who make up the Fenway Sports Group, as they attempt to shape a new era and philosophy.

One of the many black marks held against the sacked Roy Hodgson was his vague, almost submissive, response to speculation about Manchester United's interest in Torres rather than the "over my dead body" riposte Liverpool supporters would have demanded.

FSG's response has been more robust and in tune with what the Kop expects - but reports from Spanish sources that Torres wants Liverpool to continue negotiating with Chelsea casts a dark cloud over their attempts to keep the 26-year-old.

This will encourage Chelsea to continue the chase if Abramovich and Ancelotti truly believe the capture of Torres will represent the first major renewal of a new era at Stamford Bridge.

The timing of Chelsea's offer has an oddity about it. If Abramovich and Ancelotti were convinced about Torres to such an extent, surely the time to make their move was early in the month when his form was poor, Liverpool's stock was low under Hodgson and the price tag may have been lower?

Indeed, there may have been a body of opinion among Liverpool's fans earlier this month that exchanging a fat cheque for Torres may not have been such a bad idea, ridding Anfield of a discontented player and providing funds for the reconstruction programme ahead.

Torres' body language was almost as telling as the performances - discontented, isolated and sulky. But a little love and attention from new manager Kenny Dalglish, arguably the greatest player in Liverpool history, has helped to restore some of the Spaniard's reputation.

Since Hodgson's sacking, Torres has shown signs of sparking into life under the more sympathetic tactical handling of Dalglish, who has offered support to the striker on the pitch - as opposed to the previous ploy of leaving him isolated - and delivered glowing testimonies off it.

The price tag has edged back up above £35m and the dilemma for Liverpool is whether they may actually deem accepting a £50m bid as sound business and a financial base for future deals given Torres' injury record and form over the last 18 months.

Torres has flickered recently rather than delivering irrefutable evidence that he is back to being the force he was before injuries dimmed the brilliance that illuminated so many of Liverpool's better feats under Rafael Benitez.

He has shown enough, however, to make any wavering Anfield followers believe his exit - and certainly if it led to him joining Chelsea - would be a serious blow.

Liverpool's owners FSG, and their figurehead John W. Henry, will not want one of their earliest signals to be such a bad one by presiding over the departure of one of the club's two world-class players - the other being Steven Gerrard - to a club they will expect to rival in coming seasons.

If FSG stand firm - and whether they can is another matter, with conflicting reports about a £50m buy-out clause in Torres' contract - it will be a statement of ambition and future optimism.

With the group's Anfield tenure in its infancy, FSG could demonstrate their intentions as much with the players that are kept as the players that are signed.

Standing firm and keeping Torres will show that the American hierarchy means business.

So what of Chelsea? What is the motive for such a sudden bid for a striker they coveted in the summer before allowing the trail to run cold?

Chelsea would strike a blow to their rivals should they land Torres, but the same element of gamble would apply to Abramovich as it would to Liverpool.

Are they buying the Torres of 18 months ago, who has simply endured a period of ill-fortune? Or are they purchasing a player who - while still an outstanding operator - is not quite the stellar figure he was back then? More evidence is needed, a lot more, before it can be said the old Torres has returned.

This is the balancing act, the decison, that faces both Chelsea and Liverpool in the days before the transfer window closes - and possibly again in the summer if business is not done now.

Abramovich's next move will show whether Chelsea really see Torres as the symbol of an era beyond the one inhabited so successfully by John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and company or whether it was a vanity move by an owner desperate to show he still cares.

What the move does emphasise is the failure of Chelsea's recent attempts to produce enough young talent of their own to replace the old guard and save Abramovich from switching course from his recent policy of parsimony.

The suggestion that Torres expects Liverpool to consider Chelsea's interest means this could be the story of the transfer window. The outcome will have a telling effect, stretching the 200 miles between Anfield and Stamford Bridge.

UPDATE FRIDAY 28 JANUARY AT 17.15PM.

Liverpool have announced that they have agreed a deal of around £22m to sign Ajax striker Luis Suarez. It is the first major transfer move by FSG - but it remains to be seen how this changes the Anfield landscape.

Will he be a partner for Fernando Torres or a replacement? And how will this gifted Uruguayan striker adapt to the Premier League?

All the noises coming out of Spain suggest Torres wants Liverpool to continue negotiations with Chelsea over a move to Stamford Bridge. The arrival of Suarez will at least show him there will be renewed ambition at Anfield under the club's new American owners.

You can follow me at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.


Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    For me, he is a player who needs to be told he is good, because when he is confident he is devastating. Rafael Benitez and Roy Hodgson never seem to communicate with their players, however Kenny Dalglish and Carlo Ancelotti clearly do, that's why he has scored a couple of goals recently. Maybe Fernando himself realises this, and may jump ship for a better chance of silverware in this, and future seasons, as Liverpool are very much in the middle of the rebuilding process. He would also probably get more service at Chelsea and have to do less of the physical work due to them already having the battering ram that is Didier Drogba.

  • Comment number 2.

    There is no issue as far as Liverpool are concerned. Even if they were remotely interested in the fee they would not be able to replace him before the transfer window closes. Hodgson has managed to leave Liverpool in a mess (as he did Blackburn) and Kenny will need all of his best players plus a few more to stand a chance of improving on last season's alleged "poor" performance.
    Incedentally no one should be surprised that Torre looked fed up at the beginning of the season. Hodgson was a throwback to the 1970s and his style of "hoofball" defensive football depressed the fans as well as Torres.Now the ball is being played on the ground. Meireles is being played in the right position and can find Torres on the ground. No wonder he is happier. Hodgson's tactics left him isolated on his own with the ball flying over his head.The nearest Liverpool players were 30 yards away.The only time he saw any of them was at full time and half time.
    I would dismiss the reports from Spain. In these cases there are always agents of varying sorts trying to engineer a transfer in order to make big money for themselves . Torres is on record as recently as January 9th in saying that he would see out his contract.All of his past statements suggest that he understands "Liverpool" and its people and identifies with them. Chelsea are the antithesis of that and he will have had to have had a major character change to be attracted to them.

  • Comment number 3.

    Torres doesn't want to play there anymore. Get over it

  • Comment number 4.

    A no brainer, he has to move in order not spend another season and half in the football wilderness. I cant see him going to Real Madrid for sentimental reasons and Barca don't have the dosh so where else is there.

  • Comment number 5.

    Batesie17 wrote:

    For me, he is a player who needs to be told he is good, because when he is confident he is devastating. Rafael Benitez and Roy Hodgson never seem to communicate with their players, however Kenny Dalglish and Carlo Ancelotti clearly do, that's why he has scored a couple of goals recently

    -----

    that must be why he never scored goals under benitez then?

  • Comment number 6.

    Batesie's hit the nail on the head;

    He should go to Villa and work under Houllier again, that's when he produced his best work...

  • Comment number 7.

    I fail to see how the value of Chelsea's movements in the transfer market is a barometer of Abramovich's interest in Chelsea and by extension, how well Chelsea are likely to do.

    Chelsea have barely spent big at all in the last 5 years, particularly compared to other teams and yet they are still up there.

    Further non-spending is in line with the upcoming UEFA regulations, the desire to put some younger players in the team and the fruits of heavy investment in the youth setup.

    Also, as far as Abramovich is concerned, over the last couple of years he has had a divorce, re-election in Russia and his tax status to deal with.

    After all that, the camera's can still focus in on one of the few chair people in the league who actually seem to be watching the game, when you see him wriggling about and jumping up and down in his seat.

    All that said, Anelka and Drogba can't go on forever but I'm not sure that Torres is the man to lead the Chelsea line, mainly because of his susceptibility to injury and the time it takes him to recover.

    However, I'm quite sure that Torres will leave Liverpool now or in the summer due to the lack of Champions League football. It's just a matter of how much Liverpool can get for him and whether he'll only be allowed to leave the English game.

  • Comment number 8.

    Every footballer wants to play at the highest possible level and win trophies. If Torres believes that he will not achieve this with Liverpool then he may well request to leave if FSG refuse a higher offer. Liverpool still have a chance of a trohpy this season and could make a top 4 finish if luck is on their side and performances improve in line with the last few games. Only time will tell but perhaps this has run out already.
    Without Torres this will not happen. As a replacement Suarez may compensate but it looks like Ajax have no intention of letting Suarez leave for what they consider to be an unfair price.
    If Torres does leave then Liverpool will cope without him, as we have other players in the past (Owen, Rush, Fowler), but will be potentially £50M better off which will allow them to rebuild in the summer.
    Expectations for this season were never high, but now a trophy and a top 4 (probably top 6) finish is possible if Torres stays. Can Kenny persuade him to stay, I hope so.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Phil,

    This blog sums up sports journalism.
    Innuendo and rumour. A lack of quotes, research, corroboration and a lemming like willingness to accept any anonymously placed insidious whisper as having substance.

    Its a feeding frenzy and I'm afraid the vast majority of sports journalists are guilty.

  • Comment number 10.

    this should be a nobrainer for liverpool. time to realise they are no longer good enough to keep hold of, or attract players of the calibre of torres. it is difficult to see them qualifying for the champions league for the next couple of years at least. that does not fit with a player of the skill and ambition of torres. if gerrard had any sense, he would move on too before it is too late for him. surely with £40m+, they could rebuild the squad with younger, less established players with potential. that can be the only way ahead for them, and with the squad benitez has left behind, they need 4 or 5 decent players before they can even think about being competitive at the top of the league

  • Comment number 11.

    It's too much of a coincidence that he's played poorly for most of the season but scored against chelsea - a 'come-and-get-me' goal. You don't need to be a body language expert to see that he has wanted to leave for a while. He's a player with ambition, and Chelsea is the only team that can help him, as other big European teams already have quality strikers, nad City have just bought Dzeko.

  • Comment number 12.

    "Torres is on record as recently as January 9th in saying that he would see out his contract."

    This renders the "Torres to Chelsea" story redundant.

  • Comment number 13.

    As an interesting aside to this story about 18 months ago people were debating who the best striker in the league is - Drogba, Rooney or Torres (with Arsenal fans rightly being irked that van Persie wasn't even considered). This season all four have been either injured or out of form, or both, but certainly far from their best. Yet of the four clubs involved, only one of their other strikers has stepped up to the plate and taken on the goalscoring mantle - Berbatov.

    Maybe this is a key factor in why United are top despite not playing that well?

  • Comment number 14.

    Torres has already stated publicly that he will not play for another English club, he's a man of his word, I don't this he would break his word. If he goes expect him to be playing in Spain or Italy, it won't be in the Premier League.

  • Comment number 15.

    Two seasons is a long time for a player in his prime to go without Champions League football. If he goes to Chelsea he'll be playing Champions League football within a month.

    If Liverpool can get close to 50m for him I think it's best for both player and club to part ways.

  • Comment number 16.

    As the pre-recorded commentary on a certain football simulator keeps reminding me:

    "Form is temporary, but class is permanent"

    With the right structure he'll flourish again. Torres is a player that relies on technical skill rather than physical prowess. even if injuries permanently robbed him of his athleticism, he'd still be a top, top player.

    It will be a while before Liverpool will be established in the top 4 again. I think Torres knows that. He'll move on, if not to Chelsea then to another top 4 club.

  • Comment number 17.

    #13 Corpusboy

    Interesting point, but as a Chelsea fan, I can tell you that pretty much everyone was scoring last season, though Drogba and Lampard were top scorers.

    This year, without Drogba (though he's not that worse off having scored 9 league goals) it's the other notably Lampard being injured and Malouda out of form that has made the difference.

    Berbatov is top scorer (and a surprise to me) but his have come in fits and starts.

    Be interesting to know how many different games a player scores in, not just how many they score.

    OK?

  • Comment number 18.

    I find it disrespectful and disgraceful of Chelsea to keep tempting Torres with shed loads of money like this, it's bribery of the highest order, how can a teams star player ever settle and give his best with all going on behind the scenes..

  • Comment number 19.

    Chelsea have spent the almost £125m since 06 - the fifth highest of any team in the league, it's a huge amount but still nothing compared to the ~£210m Abramovich lavished on players in his first and second seasons.

    My view of this is that he invested a serious amount of money in the team on purchase of the club in order for it to compete at the very highest level in England and Europe. Now they are stuttering he's realising the team requires another serious cash injection to bring it up-to-date again. Another 5 years down the line the cycle will repeat itself.

    This model of running a football club is incredibly unsustainable and if I was a Chelsea fan I'd be worried about what will happen when he decides to lose interest in the club.

  • Comment number 20.

    Everyones an expert about what size of club liverpool are, make no mistake amongst the best managers out there liverpool are considered huge, NESV have money to spend and have plans for rebuilding too, it seems lots of rival fans and media really dont want Liverpool back at the big table of football for some reason,
    Liverpool have always been and will always be a major player in the Premier League and around Europe so stop fantasising about them being a spent force, I think you'll find they're more like a sleeping giant.

  • Comment number 21.

    18. At 4:30pm on 28 Jan 2011, William wrote:
    I find it disrespectful and disgraceful of Chelsea to keep tempting Torres with shed loads of money like this, it's bribery of the highest order, how can a teams star player ever settle and give his best with all going on behind the scenes..

    --------------------------------------------
    LOL. Stop being so dramatic

    They're not going up to him and waving £50 notes in front of his face.

    They're making a bid through the club to buy him. I'm sure they havent discussed wages etc yet.

  • Comment number 22.

    If he wants to win trophies then he has to leave Liverpool. It really is that simple. His club and international career is in decline the longer he stays. Has to look at his the point hes at in his career, the club hes at and what he can realistically achieve - at Liverpool - not much. If hes a realist who understands whats going on in English football he'll slap in a transfer request sooner rather than later.
    All the Liverpool fans who seem to think he'll put his love for the club before his career and the chance of winning trophies need to think again, if this was the case he would have stayed at At. Madrid, a club which holds a much fonder place in his heart than Liverpool. This notion that every player that pulls on the Liverpool shirt instantly falls into an unbreakable bond with the club like no other is pretty boring and well wide of the mark taking into consideration the attitudes of todays football and the fact that Liverpools glory days are 25 years behind them.

  • Comment number 23.

    Some thoughts:
    Perhaps Torres' upturn in form is because he's aware of Chelsea's moves and wants to convince them to come in for him.
    Torres' only world class performance this season was against Chelsea, giving the lie that he didn't/wouldn't perform under Hodgson.
    Ajax's demand for the Suarez deal to be sorted by Saturday hints at Chelsea having brought Ajax on board to push the issue.
    Is it true Torres has a 50 million buy out clause?
    If Torres is available for CL with Chelsea as he hasn't played in it for Liverpool this season, it makes him even more valuable to Chelsea than other competition tied strikers.
    Instead of facing (at least) two seasons of no CL, Torres would have only missed half a season if he moves.(Assuming Chelsea hold onto 4th place at least which seems likely.)

  • Comment number 24.

    phil mcnulty posts blog about liverpool shock horror!

    how about a more interesting blog for once phil...

  • Comment number 25.

    I dislike Abvamovich, his demagogue style is bad for the game..

  • Comment number 26.

    When have NESV ever stated there where a selling club?

    There intentions are clear and a long term objective set out.

    Look how many players have knocked Chelsea back recently..Surely McNulty should be writing about this, then spouting more anti-Liverpool drivel.

  • Comment number 27.

    yes liverpool are playing well at the mo but that can change at any time if liverpool flop again and miss out on europe altogether then it is goodbye to torres

  • Comment number 28.

    Why are people almost criticising Abramovich for not spending stupidly on Chelsea anymore? Is he obligated to funding the club for the rest of his life? He had a plan which involved Chelsea becoming a self-sufficient club no longer dependent on his finances. And by most definitions, Chelsea have reached that stage. Yet Chelsea fans still want Roman to spend his money on their club. Chelsea should stand on their own two feet and not look to Abramovich to bail them out! Some 'big' club they are...

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Phil,

    This is a very interesting and in my mind defining moment that will determine in what way the owners of LFC will be seen in the future. Selling Torres sends out a message. The message is a negative one, showing that LFC are ready to do business for any of their players if the price is right.
    When United sold a disgruntled Ronaldo for the £80m there was a general feeling that this was good piece of business. He clearly wanted to go and Fergie did well to get £80m for him. However, at the time MUFC were top, LFC are not. LFC have NO other alternative to Torres, MUFC had Berbatov, Rooney and Tevez (at least they had a right to buy him). Also, we are in mid-season and this means that we would be strongly destabilised whereas Fergie sold Ronaldo early in the summer transfer market leaving himself as much time as possible to get a replacement.
    Finally, what this sale would mean, is that a club like Chelsea can bully LFC to sell their most prized asset at a time that LFC need the player the most.

  • Comment number 30.

    19 POW - Right in the kisser

    But the point I was trying to make (if you were responding to me) is that after 2006, the net spend is £21m. People weren't questioning his commitment at other times since 2006 so why now?

    You see what I'm saying about trying to tie Chelsea's spending to an opinion about Abramovich's interest?

  • Comment number 31.

    Torres is worth a gamble for Chelsea, he's a good age and hamstrings are often a problem with fast young players, but become less so as they get older.

    Chelsea need a statement to gee up the current players and for that matter the fans. It could really give the club a boost.

    Where do you buy a top quality striker of Torres' quality? They don't come to market very often, but Liverpool cannot offer him Champions League football and need funds for their new manager to tweak the team.

    Ideal for both parties - I think it will happen.

  • Comment number 32.

    Who says that Torres will ever regain his best form? He seems to be highly injury prone, and a couple of easy goals against Wolves are hardly signs of a prolific striker rekindling his form. I find it almost unbelievable that Chelsea would offer more than £40million for him.

    If this is the sum that they're offering then Liverpool should bite their hand off to get it.

  • Comment number 33.

    yes liverpool are playing well at the mo but that can change at any time if liverpool flop again and miss out on europe altogether then it is goodbye to torres

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I don't even think the Europa League would interest Torres. It barely interests anyone, including Liverpool fans which is why Anfield has been half empty on those un-inspiring Thursday nights. When fit, he's one of the best and is coming to the peak of his career. Will he want to spend those years attempting to finish fourth and playing on a Thursday night in front of empty seats?

  • Comment number 34.

    With the season being as it is If and it's not a small if Liverpool manage to beat Chelsea next week and Sunderland get a result against them. Liverpool would be 2 points behind.

    I could understand if Barcelona or Ac Milan were knocking that his head might be turned - but an ageing Chelsea side battling to finish in the top 4 - I'd be very surprised if Torres would go there.

    By the way Phil - are you suggesting that Reina is not World Class ?

  • Comment number 35.

    Why keep a player who is injury proned? Take 50 million + another 30 million from the owners, and strengthen the whole squad. Dani Alves, Gregory Chiellini, Romelu Lukaku, Iker Muniain, Luis Suarez, Alexander Pato....Why have 4 players 9/10 and the rest are 6/10...come on....take the money and run

  • Comment number 36.

    "one of Liverpool's two world-class players"

    What about Reina?

    Funny how we've been portrayed as a two man club for years. Yet when Alonso and Mascherano left the same people said it was a disaster!

  • Comment number 37.

    I think Torres's body language all season has shown that he may desire a move away. It is very similar to Ronaldo's last season at United, except the fact Ronaldo and United were still doing okay.

    After serveral turbulant seasons its not surprising in my mind that he would wish to leave Liverpool. After a 7th Place finish last year, the loss of Benetiz and Xabi Alonso, along with the Hicks and Gillette saga and the short reign of Roy Hodgson, its not been the best of times.

    In March Torres will be 27, the peak years of a player, and he wants to be winning trophies at club level. He surely knows that its going to take Liverpool a couple of seasons to catch the rest and thats a couple more years without silverware for Torres.

    I think if anyone would stump up £50 million whether it be Chelsea, Barcelona or even Man City he would be gone fast than you can say Spanish Omlette!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Liverpool aren't under the two cowboys anymore and people obviously don't listen a John Henry has stated along with the other board members that his goal is to get LFC competing back at the highest level and money will be spent to do that. You only need to look at the groups record and toucan see they mean business and most importantly they are winners and the fortunes of LFC favourably point to being on the up. Selling Torres is a non-starter. Why do people get all giddy and their pants in a twist everytime this story comes up every transfer window?

    Chelsea are desperate. Ageing squad on the wane and throwing daft bids around for Aguero, Luiz and Torres and then getting rejected out of hand and not getting their man.

  • Comment number 39.

    Liverpool are now firmly entrenched in the second division of the Premier League so will find it increasingly difficult to attract the top players and to keep hold of their 2/3 class players. Torres will go this month or in the summer for Champions League football as will Reina. Gerrard strikes me as the sort of person who would struggle abroad and I can't see him going to another Premiership club.

  • Comment number 40.

    Apolgies for the grammatical mistakes. Toucan = you can.. Dohh.

  • Comment number 41.

    This is just posturing by Abramovich. He knows full well that Liverpool won't sell, especially at that price, and so he bluffs an offer. Win-win. He gets a raised eyebrow from Chelsea fans (and the competition), or he gets Torres at a decent price.
    Top businessman.

  • Comment number 42.

    Liverpool aren't under the two cowboys anymore and people obviously don't listen a John Henry has stated along with the other board members that his goal is to get LFC competing back at the highest level and money will be spent to do that. You only need to look at the groups record and toucan see they mean business and most importantly they are winners and the fortunes of LFC favourably point to being on the up.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    If they have money available to strengthen the squad and are serious about doing so, why are they wasting their own time with derisory bids for Adam and especially Suarez. They were told the price by Ajax, who have no need to sell, and proceeded to offer half that amount.

    Seems at the moment to be a PR stunt to get the fans onside rather than a serious attempt to spend cash.

  • Comment number 43.

    41. At 4:53pm on 28 Jan 2011, jjp_rec wrote:
    This is just posturing by Abramovich. He knows full well that Liverpool won't sell, especially at that price, and so he bluffs an offer. Win-win. He gets a raised eyebrow from Chelsea fans (and the competition), or he gets Torres at a decent price.
    Top businessman.


    =======================================

    He also inadvertently raises Carlo's other eyebrow. A feat never before achieved.

  • Comment number 44.

    @ 20... well said.

    I think Torres would be barmy to go to Chelsea. A club with an ageing squad (that was ripped apart by Arsenal's younger players last month) and a manager feeling undermined by the cloak 'n' dagger way the club hierarchy goes about it's business.

    Liverpool have now finally got the foundations in place for financial stability and improvement on the pitch, with a manager who united the club and got the team playing football the right way again. The future is bright, and despite many ill-educated opinions to the contrary, Rafa actually restructured and overhauled the LFC youth system and we are now slowly beginning to see the fruits of this with Kelly likely to be the first of many breaking through.

    It all depends on whether Torres listens to his 'advisors' or uses his brain.

  • Comment number 45.

    torres is going nowhere. why do people dismiss what he said recently, trying to make him out a liar. the same with the papers saying utd want reina, tough luck, its tedious how it happens every window, im surprised stevie g has not been linked to chelsea/real madrid/man city this window. the press will keep at it due to who it is and where it is, unlike the aguero story which was over and done with in a day.

  • Comment number 46.

    Scholesy - agreed. He's blown hot and cold lately & is not worthy of teh £40m price tag. I expect Chelsea just want him to stop scoring against them ;-)

  • Comment number 47.

    Theres a difference to press speculation and actually making a formal bid which Chelsea have and Liverpool have rejected it. The story goes on..

  • Comment number 48.

    26. At 4:39pm on 28 Jan 2011, The_Life_Of_Molby wrote:
    When have NESV ever stated there where a selling club?

    There intentions are clear and a long term objective set out.

    Look how many players have knocked Chelsea back recently..Surely McNulty should be writing about this, then spouting more anti-Liverpool drivel.



    Surely you should look at the facts. only one player has knocked back chelsea - pienaar. aguero said last summer that he would love to join chelsea, reports suggest torres is interested in chelsea and with luiz, he'd like to go, but the problem of the transfer fee instalment is the issue.
    besides, most of the time mcnulty is declaring his love for livepool anyway.

  • Comment number 49.

    CECH
    IVANOVIC ALEX TERRY COLE
    ESSIEN MIKEL MALOUDA
    LAMPARD
    DROGBA TORRESS

    Which team can stop this powerful CHELSEA from winning the champions league @ Wimbley come MAY?????

  • Comment number 50.

    Liverpool have just announced the Suarez deal (subject to medical/personal terms):

    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/reds-agree-suarez-deal

    So come the end of January Liverpool could have one of the most deadly strike forces in Europe or, and I hope this isn't the case, Suarez is Nandos replacement... which is more likely?

  • Comment number 51.

    NESV have no choice in this matter. Henry has confirmed that they are stone broke and have no money. Torres will be sold and so will Gerard. Liverpool have no choice and there is nothing Daglish or the owners can do.

  • Comment number 52.

    But the point I was trying to make (if you were responding to me) is that after 2006, the net spend is £21m.
    -----------------------------

    Absolute rubbish

  • Comment number 53.

    Torres in under contract for a long time. Chelsea are playing games here. If they really wanted Torres, they would have started talking to Liverpool before January. Liverpool will not sell their best and only top goalscorer now because they won't be able to replace him. We love Torres, but he is replaceable, for the right price. Bue he cannot be replaced in 4 days, and for that reason, given that he is under contract, the club will not sell.

    And before anyone jumps to compare this to Liverpool's Suarez chase, Liverpool are dealing with a team (Ajax) that is obviously willing to sell, and the price is the only bone of contention. Further, Ajax have probably identified, or think they already have adequate replacements for Suarez if he leaves, and that is why they are still inviting larger offers from Liverpool.

    Liverpool have said they will not sell. End of!

    Oh, and Liverpool have just agreed the Suarez deal.

    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/reds-agree-suarez-deal

    We are not a selling club!

  • Comment number 54.

    Well Suarez is on his way (subject to personal terms and medical)not too bad for a beaten down, broken down shell of a club !

    And by the way Liverpool dont have to sell Torres no matter how much Chelsea offer - Is worth remembering that...

  • Comment number 55.

    #52 chongmaster

    Care to elaborate on what part of the point I was making, and the facts I was using to make it, is 'absolute rubbish'?

  • Comment number 56.

    Torres doesn't want to be sitting in his situation for much longer, he is world-class and it's only a matter of time before he joins a Champions League club.

  • Comment number 57.

    Replacement already lined up I see!

  • Comment number 58.

    The next move will be a straight swap - Adam for Gerrard

  • Comment number 59.

    That settles it i guess. Torres is off. Inevitable that it would happen eventually with the lack of CL football.

  • Comment number 60.

    53. At 5:16pm on 28 Jan 2011, redsNWA wrote:
    Torres in under contract for a long time. Chelsea are playing games here. If they really wanted Torres, they would have started talking to Liverpool before January. Liverpool will not sell their best and only top goalscorer now because they won't be able to replace him. We love Torres, but he is replaceable, for the right price. Bue he cannot be replaced in 4 days, and for that reason, given that he is under contract, the club will not sell.

    And before anyone jumps to compare this to Liverpool's Suarez chase, Liverpool are dealing with a team (Ajax) that is obviously willing to sell, and the price is the only bone of contention. Further, Ajax have probably identified, or think they already have adequate replacements for Suarez if he leaves, and that is why they are still inviting larger offers from Liverpool.

    Liverpool have said they will not sell. End of!

    Oh, and Liverpool have just agreed the Suarez deal.

    http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/reds-agree-suarez-deal

    We are not a selling club!

    ===================================================================

    You say Liverpool wont be able to replace Torres within 4 days and then you go on to announce the Suarez deal with great joy.

    The only two clubs which arent selling clubs are Barcelona and Madrid. Any other club is a selling club which includes Liverpool I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 61.

    12. At 4:22pm on 28 Jan 2011, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    "Torres is on record as recently as January 9th in saying that he would see out his contract."

    This renders the "Torres to Chelsea" story redundant.
    ------------------

    Not if the owners want to cash in on him. Every year that passes on his contract the cheaper his value becomes.

  • Comment number 62.

    One would assume that Liverpool were able to double their original offer for Suarez having decided that Torres will leave. In the meantime, I expect an increased bid for Charlie Adam.

  • Comment number 63.

    All you hypocritical Liverpool fans who are saying that Chelsea are a disgrace because they're unsettling Torres, What are you doing with Charlie Adam then?

  • Comment number 64.

    I find it highly complimentary that fans of other teams cannot stop talking about Liverpool, suggesting that we are not a big team and quite clearly hoping that we fail.

    The last I heard we are England's most successful team FACT, have been in the champions league final twice in the past six years FACT and won once FACT, i.e. once more than Chelsea FACT.

    Ok, we're going through a bad period, having gotten rid of the previous owners and a hugely unsuccessful manager in Roy Hodgson. The new owners seems far more in touch, we have a highly successful manager and we've just forked out 20million on a world class striker - so things are looking up already, i.e. we're a sleeping giant awaking from its slumber.

    As for Torres, it's not surprising he has been down, who wouldn't be after recent goings on. The fact remains, however, that the players do have a real affiliation for the club, take Alonso for example. Maybe that's what sets us (and Man United) apart from all of the other teams. Teams like Chelsea and Man City are superficial, they chuck money around and try to buy success - no romanticism there, and that's why Torres will stay.


  • Comment number 65.

    What the move does emphasise is the failure of Chelsea's recent attempts to produce enough young talent of their own to replace the old guard and save Abramovich from switching course from his recent policy of parsimony.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Phil,

    Please show me the long list of teams that have been able to produce young talent to replace the 'old guard' in every single position, and then your paragraph might have some credibility.

    Chelsea have several promising young players capable of one day replacing the old guard, it just so happens none of them are strikers.

    Where Chelsea have been caught out is in the timing. The young players are not ready yet, but some of the 'old guard' already seem to be in decline.

  • Comment number 66.

    At 5:26pm on 28 Jan 2011, Mr Chelsea wrote:

    You say Liverpool wont be able to replace Torres within 4 days and then you go on to announce the Suarez deal with great joy.

    The only two clubs which arent selling clubs are Barcelona and Madrid. Any other club is a selling club which includes Liverpool I'm afraid.

    =========================================================

    Livrpool have been in contact with Ajax fo a long time. If Ajax didn't want to sell, they would have told Liverpool to go away and Liverpool would have moved on to a new target. Ajax even gave Liverpool a deadline, and Liverpool made an acceptable offer before the deadline.

    Liverpool's deadline in respect of a transfer for Torres is well past. Ajax will have made plans already. They are possibly not looking to replace Suarez because of their financial situation. So not the same. Suarez is not replacing Torres. He is here to partner him.

  • Comment number 67.

    Just read the story about LFC agreeing a £22m fee with Ajax for Suarez and I dont know if I should be happy or not about this. If this means that Torres is off to Chelski then we havent moved one inch forward. Considering that we havent finished with the transfer of Charlie Adam which should cost us another £8-£10m, I wander where the money would come from. We got £6m for Babel, we might get another £6m if we could shift Jovanovic but that makes only £12m of the £30m we need. No matter how serious the yanks really are about rebuilding surely they wont spend £18m nett on new players on their first transfer window. Or will they???!?!!?

    A nervous 3 days ahead of me.

  • Comment number 68.

    This is a non-story again peddled by the cockney media. Liverpool will not sell a star player with only 2 and a bit days left of the transfer window and weaken their position. Torres is under contract, that is that!

  • Comment number 69.

    As for the Charlie Adam situation, it's Blackpool that have been leaking all the details about bids to the press. They obviously have a price at which tey are willing to sell, and they are trying to inflate it (which they are perfectly entitled to do). Again, if they won't sell him before the end of the transfer window, then they can just say so. Ian Holloway doesn't want to sell, but his chairman probably doesn't mind, and that's why it's even an issue.

  • Comment number 70.

    Chelsea can put massive bids in all day long for players - the truth is that nobody wants to sign for them anymore.

  • Comment number 71.

    The Suarez deal is either evidence that Liverpool are making every effort to get back into the top 4 and this may convince Torres to stay, or it is confirmation that Torres in leaving.

    Who knows?

  • Comment number 72.

    66. At 5:39pm on 28 Jan 2011, redsNWA wrote:
    Suarez is not replacing Torres. He is here to partner him.

    ---------------------

    And you believe that do you?

  • Comment number 73.

    If reports that Torres is encouraging Liverpool to continue negotiations are true, then he is looking at Liverpool in a realistic view.

    The fact is that they will not be a champions league club for at least another 4 years. FSG will put money into rebuilding the team but Liverpool are miles (and I really mean miles) behind the 5 other big teams in the PL and FSG will not put in the money to close that gap over night.

    The fact is a Spanish player (i.e. not a Liverpudlian) of Torres's quality is not going to spend his playing years between the ages of 26 - 30 (supposedly his best) out of Europe's elite competition.

    He will go in the next couple of years so surely now would be the time to sell him so Liverpool get the biggest return. The older he gets and the closer to the end of his contract he gets then the more is price will go down......seems to make sense now for both club and player.

    And yes, as a Chelsea fan I would be more than happy to have him.

  • Comment number 74.

    Im some respects I think its a fair bid. Torres in full flow is worth more than that. The Torres of the last few months wouldn't get a game for Chelsea. What assumptions do you make about the future? Strikers are streaky- sometimes when they lose a bit of form or get injured they don't come back the same. Does he indeed need a change of environment to fully recover his form?

    I imagine that he's started to look across at Gerard, who has repeatedly put belief in Liverpool only to have hopes and expectations repeatedly dashed. No doubt in my mind that Gerard would have achieved more had he made the move to chelsea a few years back. But time marches on and before he can blink he's lost his chance. Surely Torres, if he has any faith at all in his ability to recover top form, won't want to see that happen to him.

    The next few days- and if not then next summer- could be interesting

  • Comment number 75.

    Whilst I agree that the timing of this transfer is strange Phil, don't you also think the target is one who appears to be inconsistent with Ancelotti's tactical beliefs and strategies.

    Anyone who watches Chelsea regularly will notice that the talent of Anelka is routinely wasted when he is deployed out on the left of our 4-3-3 formation. He is ineffective and wasted, yet when he occupies the central position when Drogba is inured or rested, he flourishes.
    Given Ancelotti has resisted any change of formation to accommodate Anelka and Drogba together, when it is clear that the current system does not suit them together, surely the question must be asked where would Torres fit in?

    He is undoubtedly a phenomenal player, but unless Ancelotti is preparing to drop Drogba for sustained periods of the season, something which for the moment is unlikely, it appears Torres would not fit into our team.
    Carlo clearly likes the 4-3-3 formation and would struggle to get the best out of Lamprad, Mikel, Essien, Ramires, Malouda and Benayoun under 4-4-2.

    So, whilst Torres is clearly gifted enough to get into our team, I do feel the pursuit lacks a lot of forethought and could in fact damage our already frail team.

  • Comment number 76.

    73 - trueblue - The fact is that they will not be a champions league club for at least another 4 years. FSG will put money into rebuilding the team but Liverpool are miles (and I really mean miles) behind the 5 other big teams in the PL.

    ========================================================================

    Would the miles and miles you're on about, be the 6 points we're behind Spurs?

    Most definitely a trueblue talking there.

  • Comment number 77.

    Obviously a quality player, but his injury record isn't nice, and you'd need another player for the times he's out.

    Chelsea need some real creativity in the middle after Lampard, and a quality striker who can hit the target. (Kalou /facepalm).

    Hopefully the Left and Right wing backs will steady up soon, and we're rolling again.

    Overall, to keep Torres playing on our screens would be a big bonus regardless. Best goal scorer in the league. (Though I'd say Drogba offers more to a team).

    Don't really like the bullying of teams in transfer deals though, especially your league competition. But I can feel completely at ease, as it's exactly what Liverpool are doing to Blackpool.

  • Comment number 78.

    Very interesting development!
    I'm looking forward to the last days of the window.
    Paying £23 for an attacker and keeping a £40m attacker in order to secure a Europa Cup place, perhaps by aiming at the 7th place ...something doesn't look right. Does it?

  • Comment number 79.

    It is obviously hugely significant that the Suarez deal has been agreed the day after the Tores bid is rejecyed and a few hours after El Nino indicates he fancies going. Liverpool were playing hardball regarding the fee, but suddenly they arent anymore and Ajax pretty much get what they wanted.

    As an outsider looking in, this looks to me like Tores has backed Liverpool into a corner - pay what Ajax want for Suarez or Im off.

    As a final point, even if that hasnt happened, then Torres is bound to reconsider his wish now Suarez is coming - why would he chose to leave now that he is finally getting what he wanted?

  • Comment number 80.

    Football_UK - So you're suggesting we should just sell all our players and head to the Championship then.

    Is a 9 point gap completely impossible to close with 45 points left to play for?

  • Comment number 81.

    Liverpool aren't that far from the top 4 and have new owners, a new manager and new signings.

    Chelsea have an aged squad, managerial issues, interferance from the owner and have dropped like a stone in recent weeks. The summer signings have proved useless and Abram clearly wants the youth to play.

    If I were Torres I wouldn't fancy the prospect of a move to Chelsea. As somebody has noted, where would he fit in formation wise?

    However, the way this news has filtered out I'm guessing the deal is all but done and Suarez is the replacement rather than the addition. They have done this behind closed doors, the first Chelsea bid will be rejected so at least the Liverpool board look like they completed a decent deal. £40-45M and he'll be gone by Sunday.

  • Comment number 82.

    I am not convinced that Fenway are the saviours that Liverpool fans have been hoping for. Read "looking to steady the ship" as "not wanting to spend money". All talk about a new ground (which is essential for Liverpool to compete longer term) has disappeared as far as i can tell.

    Now, there is the Torres saga.

    Look at the chronology. First of all there are derisory bids in for Charlie Adam and Suarez, along with a rumour about bidding for Ashley Young; evidence that Liverpool cant afford to spend big. Then there is the Chelsea bid for Torres. Now there is a double the size bid for Suarez which has been accepted, and i daresay a similarly increased bid for Adam is coming too. Just do the math....

    Don't you think a condition of sale would be something along the lines of "if we can get a decent replacement in, then we might negotiate with you [Chelsea]", after all not even the Americans are silly enough to sell their star striker and then have a deal for his replacement fall through, leaving the team with only Ngog as the attacking option....also dont you think the NESV might actually be trying to butter up the fans with a couple of purchases before selling their main player??

    I think those fans who think this is going to be a nice attacking partnership are deluding themselves. So, say hello to Luis, and wave goodbye to Fernando.

  • Comment number 83.

    Looks like you'll have a backup keeper for when Reina goes to ManU :)

    I have spent a lot of time living with Uruguay, and follow Suarez a lot. As well as his goal record it is worth noting that he is bigger and stronger thank he looks and works really really hard on the pitch, like Tevez.

    Looks to me like he'll be a replacement for Torres,but lets hope Pool can keep hold of him.

  • Comment number 84.

    Wishing your life away there Mouseburger.

  • Comment number 85.

    Care to elaborate on what part of the point I was making, and the facts I was using to make it, is 'absolute rubbish'?
    --------------------

    Ha ha, now THAT would involve a couple of searches around the internet, a quick search tells me that Chelsea have spent around 185 million since 2006 and I cannot believe they got 164 back in transfer fees, but correct me if I am wrong.

  • Comment number 86.

    Mr Chelsea
    "All you hypocritical Liverpool fans who are saying that Chelsea are a disgrace because they're unsettling Torres, What are you doing with Charlie Adam then?"

    ------------------------------------------------

    I'm not a Liverpool fan but when Fernando Torres submits a transfer request to the owners stipulating his desire to leave the club, in the case of Adam, or has publicly told the club chairman his desire to leave, as in the case of Suarez, to say that the fairly irritated Liverpool fans are hypocritical would be farfetched.

    It irritates me further how the bankrolled clubs just attempt to purchase every player they consider a threat. Whilst I am more pertinently talking about Manchester City, this bid is surely just an attempt to try and flex Chelsea's beleaguered financial muscle. I wouldn't declare Chelsea a disgrace, moreover just a desperate attempt for attention that has been removed through Manchester City's perpetual spending power.

  • Comment number 87.

    51. Cyberlancer wrote:
    "NESV have no choice in this matter. Henry has confirmed that they are stone broke and have no money. Torres will be sold and so will Gerard. Liverpool have no choice and there is nothing Daglish or the owners can do"

    Would love to know how he got this inside information!!
    When did Henry confirm they were broke and have no money? They recently spent a huge sum on a couple of Baseball players, oh and they've just spent £22m+ on a footballer!! Wouldn't mind being that stoney broke!!!!!

  • Comment number 88.

    FSG don't want Torres to leave, Suarez wouldn't want him to leave, Daglish doesn't want him to leave, the fans don't want him to leave, and the man himself stated he would see out his current contract, whilst FSG selling a prized asset to rivals would surely send the wrong message to everyone, even for £50 mil.

    Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing Suarez against Stoke, with a goal and an assist for Torres and then things will certainly be looking more positive for the future.

  • Comment number 89.

    Both Adam & Suarez told their clubs they wanted to leave and join Liverpool. Torres has not said a word yet! So don't be getting on your high horses saying what Chelsea have done is exactly the same as what Liverpool have been doing.

    Glorified attention seeking on Chelseas behalf - nobody wants to sign for you anymore, get over it.

  • Comment number 90.

    His armband proved he was a red. His scarf after the world cup confirmed it. His statement recently saying he'd see out his contract here should really seal the deal.

    Instead we get Chelsea making a bid (Chelski want Torres? That's the oldest news outside of Diana's death) and suddenly the collective media frenzy ships up a furore.

    I expect Torres to demand a role in shaping Liverpool's squad, and players to be brought in to support him (and Suarez) but if he goes, Gerrard goes, and if Gerrard goes, Liverpool's £300M valuation is a ripoff of the highest order. It would be a better plan economically for NESV to buy out his release clause, rather than let Abramovich bludgeon the league with his wallet again.

    I expect Torres will want to return to Atletico at the end of his contract, and I would hold him no ill will for that, but I think he will stay here. He's still Spain's preferred partner for Villa (hell he's Villa's preferred partner) every day of the week.

    other transfer predictions: Lloris to not give two (euro) cents about a move to england, Reina to stay where he is and his kids to be hilariously scouse before he hangs up his boots, and de Gea to continue to snub a small Manchester club in favour of his hometown.

  • Comment number 91.

    @ 80 TheArmBand,

    are you talking about overcoming Chelsea and, of course, Sunderland and Spurs? :)

    Are you kidding? :)

    Had a nice laugh, thanks :)

  • Comment number 92.

    Very interesting development!
    I'm looking forward to the last days of the window.
    Paying £23 for an attacker and keeping a £40m attacker in order to secure a Europa Cup place, perhaps by aiming at the 7th place ...something doesn't look right. Does it?
    --------------------------------------------------
    surely doesnt.... we are gunning for that 4th spot Chelsea watch out!

  • Comment number 93.

    Torres has been registered for a European competition this season, the Europa League, he therefore will be ineligible to play for Chelsea in UCL. Same went for Maxi Rodriguez last season when he moved to Liverpool in January, however working in reverse.

  • Comment number 94.

    interesting to see chelsea go in again for torres,my opinion is that chelsea have been given encouragement from sources at lfc,seems like a transfer completely out of the blue for me,didnt imagine we would go again for him,certainly not in the jan transfer window,ive got a feeling this time around they will succeed,seems torres with the euro championships on the horizon and at the right age hes now ready for the move,and champions league football this season sways his mind!!

  • Comment number 95.

    Great news about Suarez.

    The recovery not only continues but gains strength.

    Liverpool are back in town and sooooooo many people are now eating their words ;o)

  • Comment number 96.

    Making a bid on a player is NOT the same as unsettling him. Liverpool bid for Torres didn't they? They didn't magic him from At. Madrid.

    Adams handed in his transfer request AFTER Liverpool bid for him. But that's the game. Either make all transfer requests private, only between the clubs, or allow clubs to publicly bid, and stop moaning about 'unsettling players'. Liverpool and Chelsea are both fully within their rights to bid for players they want to sign.

  • Comment number 97.

    surely doesnt.... we are gunning for that 4th spot Chelsea watch out!
    -------------------------

    Liverpool and Chelsea battling it out for 4th ..... how times have changed.

    Sp*rs to return to their rightful place outside the top 5

  • Comment number 98.

    "The timing of Chelsea's offer has an oddity about it..."

    It's got NOTHING to do with Torres' form. It's got EVERYTHING to do with Liverpool v. Chelsea in a week's time! That's the not-so-oddity about it.

    It would mean not just having a top striker coming back into form - it would also mean Liverpool going into the game without him: an effective 6-pointer. And although they won't get him (they are not going to up that to £60m, sorry), they will be hoping the speculation has a similar effect.

  • Comment number 99.

    are you talking about overcoming Chelsea and, of course, Sunderland and Spurs? :)

    Are you kidding? :)

    Had a nice laugh, thanks :)

    ---------------------------------------------
    well lets not get carried away, but 9 points is nothing...there is still a lot of games to be played. never mind FA cups and champions league for some surely playing all these games will have its toll come the business end of the season. Nothing is for certain this season!

  • Comment number 100.

    If Chelsea offer £50 million for Torres, Liverpool would be daft not to sell. Torres is not on form right now and having a star striker that doesn't perform is pointless. For £50 mil you could get some in form strikers that are more fired up that Torres appears to be.

    You can be sentimental about it or you can consider the reality of the situation. Take the money, improve the squad more. Any club/team is bigger than one man.

 

Page 1 of 6

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.