Belfast Telegraph

Torres edges closer to Blues switch

Fernando Torres was tonight on the brink of completing a record-breaking transfer to Chelsea after Liverpool lined up a replacement for the striker.

Torres was expected to wrap up a reported £50million deadline-day switch to Stamford Bridge in time for the 11pm closure of the window.

And the Blues could yet take their spending spree tonight to more than £75million after reports from Portugal suggested they had dramatically resurrected a £25million-plus move for Benfica defender David Luiz.

Neither transfer was complete with four hours remaining but it was looking increasingly likely Chelsea would land both their primary targets in time.

Torres' arrival would smash the transfer record between British clubs, while Luiz would become one of the most expensive defenders ever to move to the UK.

Reports suggest the deal is for £17.1million up front, with another £4.3million to be paid in 2013, and Nemanja Matic to join Benfica as a makeweight.

The double-swoop is a real statement of intent from owner Roman Abramovich, who has reined in his spending in the past two years.

But it does raise questions about the club's ability to adhere to UEFA's upcoming Financial Fair Play Regulations on the day they announced a loss of £70.9million.

Torres and Luiz will cost at least that much in transfer fees so it is hard to see Chelsea turning a profit for some time.

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