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Transfer news – Torres switch in doubt after final breakdown

| 12.07.2010

Chelsea’s touted move for £70 million-rated Fernando Torres looks in danger of collapsing after the striker pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury during the closing minutes of Spain’s World Cup win over Holland.

The Premier League champions have long been admirers of the Spanish forward, who has scored 65 goals in 95 starts during three seasons at Anfield, and are reported to be ready to launch a bid in the region of £50million for him this summer.

Such a purchase would make Chelsea and even more solid premier league bet to retain their title, currently priced at 13/8.

Torres would give Carlo Ancelotti’s side a ruthless front man who can score all sorts of goals, much like Chelsea’s totemic Didier Drogba. But Torres would be keener to run behind defences than the Ivorian meaning that, when fit, such a strike partnership would be a frightening proposition for any defence.

Yet his time in England his been persistently troubled by injury – he’s never played 30 Premier League games in a season – and last term he took to the field just 29 times in all competitions for Liverpool (who are 14/1 to end their 20-year wait for a league title).

After being dropped from Vicente Del Bosque’s starting line-up for last night’s final, Torres came on with 15 minutes of extra-time left and was involved in Andres Iniesta’s winning goal.

However, minutes later he pulled up chasing a long ball and fell to the ground in apparent agony. He left the field on a stretcher but managed to collect his winners’ medal before leaving the celebrations early to receive treatment.

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has stated his desire to keep the 27-year-old at Anfield but it is believed the club are actively looking for replacements as a contingency plan.

Having not won a thing on Merseyside Torres is known to prefer a move to Stamford Bridge and the opportunity to claim a Champions League title, which Chelsea are 6/1 to win.

Indeed, trophies rather than money would be a key factor in his decision to switch, with Chelsea 28/1 to win a domestic cup double and 9/1 to win the double of Champions League and Premier League.

Medical staff will wait 48 hours before determining the extent of the injury, but the length of time he is now out for could decide whether or not such plans for adding club silverware to his international haul are derailed.

Torres’ class isn’t in doubt, but his ability to complete a full season is. Such is his solo skill, though, Chelsea may still for the striker who could help them win a first ever treble of league, FA Cup and Champions League, at 45/1. See the full Chelsea Specials market.



John Klee