Liverpool will be bracing themselves for a renewed bid from Chelsea for star striker Fernando Torres after turning down a transfer request from the player.
Speculation had been rife all day about the 26-year-old's future after the club turned down a £35million bid from Chelsea. Just hours after the Reds concluded a deal with Ajax for their Uruguay forward Luiz Suarez Torres handed in his request.
"Fernando Torres on Friday night submitted a written transfer request, which has been rejected by Liverpool," said a club statement.
"Fernando is under long-term contract and the club expect him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool FC and its supporters when he signed the agreement."
Barely had news of the Suarez deal, worth up to £22.8million for the Dutch club, filtered out then speculation began to increase about Torres.
It had been hoped the capture of the Uruguayan would provide the necessary evidence that owners Fenway Sports Group were serious about investing in the squad and convince star names like Torres and goalkeeper Jose Reina that they could have a successful future at Anfield.
However, it appears the 26-year-old's mind had already been made up to ask to leave in the wake of Chelsea's bid even though he has a contract until the end of 2013.
The timing of Torres' request is odd, just three days before the close of the transfer window, and that could act in Liverpool's favour as they desperately try to hold on to a player who has been so influential for the vast majority of his three and a half years at the club.
Even if Chelsea return with an improved bid the Merseysiders will reject it and then can stall and frustrate any other attempts to manufacture a move, knowing there is very little time left for pressure to build.
Liverpool are not in action this weekend after being knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round and return to action on Wednesday at home to Stoke in the Barclays Premier League.
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