Belfast Telegraph

Torres is staying put — for now

Fernando Torres will not leave Chelsea in the January transfer window but for the first time doubts over the long-term Stamford Bridge future of the most expensive player in British football have started to emerge.

Chelsea yesterday moved swiftly to dismiss speculation the club would consider bids of as little as £20m for the Spain international, who has scored just three league goals since moving from Liverpool on the final day of this year's January transfer window, insisting the 27-year-old remains “part of the club's long-term plans”.

More pressingly, of course, Torres will be expected to lead the line for Andre Villas-Boas's side when Didier Drogba departs for the African Cup of Nations next month.

But despite the club's public stance, and Torres's immediate importance, it is thought Villas-Boas would be willing to countenance a sale in the summer, should a suitable offer arrive.

The manager discussed the possibility of selling the striker last summer, just six months into his career at the club, only to afford him a second chance.

Belfast Telegraph

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