Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Chelsea step up chase for Torres

Fernando Torres

Chelsea are determined to maintain their pursuit of Liverpool striker Fernando Torres despite the thigh injury he picked up during Sunday's World Cup final.

The double winners are understood to have started talks with Liverpool over a potential £35m transfer before Torres collapsed in pain late on during Spain's 1-0 victory over the Netherlands.

Tests yesterday confirmed that Torres has ruptured a muscle in his left thigh which could rule him out until the start of the new Premier League season.

The Spanish striker pulled up in pain shortly after he came on as a substitute during Sunday's final and was carried off the pitch on a stretcher although he appeared to move freely during the post-match celebrations.

The latest injury came after a disappointing personal World Cup for Torres.

The former Atletico Madrid ace also missed the end of Liverpool's season with injuries.

Chelsea, however, have not been deterred by Torres' latest setback and sources say they are confident they can strike a deal with Liverpool once he returns from holiday.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to retain his star striker and spoke yesterday of his delight in seeing Torres drape a Liverpool scarf around his shoulders as he celebrated on Sunday.

Hodgson said: “I think it's safe to say the pictures of Fernando in the dressing room with the World Cup certainly went down well with our fans.”

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