Chelsea have moved swiftly to deny reports in the morning media that £50 million forward Fernando Torres will be allowed to leave for less than half that figure in January.
A Chelsea spokesman told The Telegraph today: “The story is nonsense. Fernando Torres remains part of our long term plans.”
The former Liverpool man’s struggles have been well documented since his move to west London, but Chelsea cutting their losses now would be a move that makes little sense for club or player.
With Nicolas Anelka joining Shanghai Shenhua in January, Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou leaving for the African Nations Cup in the same month and Daniel Sturridge excelling in a wide role, Chelsea will need Torres to lead the line post-Christmas.
If he were to be sold the club would be left solely with the talented but raw Belgian international Romelu Lukaku, which would be unwise for a side now firmly back in the title race after their 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Monday.
It would also be a waste of a year for Torres to leave the club now. He has spent 12 months building relationships with his teammates, and looked close to recapturing his best form earlier in the season where his link-up play and all-round displays were much improved.
A mixed game at Old Trafford, where he both scored and missed a golden opportunity, was followed up by another goal against Swansea in a game where he was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Mark Gower.
Since the red card ,Torres has stuttered again, but he will surely come good sooner rather than later for the Blues.
Chelsea struck deals in the summer that looked as if they were made with getting the best from El Nino firmly in mind. Raul Meireles joined from Liverpool on the last day of the summer transfer window, so they would have known each other’s games well.
Juan Mata also arrived from Valencia and his style as a skillful provider for forwards was thought to be just what Torres needed. They had also played together on the international stage.
It is also crucial to keep in mind just how devastating Fernando Torres was during his two-and-a-half-year spell at Anfield.
He quite simply took the Barclays Premier League by storm scoring 65 goals in 102 appearances with his speed and ability to score all sorts of goals worried defenders across the country.
Chelsea surely cannot give up on him recovering that type of form and risk seeing him doing it for another rival domestically or in the Champions League, the competition that Roman Abramovich wants more than any other.
The figures reported were also fanciful and would not make any sense for Chelsea economically. To buy a player for £50 million and sell him for £20 million just a year later is simply not a viable option - no matter how many Roubles you owner has in the bank.
A move for Torres in January would not benefit either him or his club and Chelsea must persevere with the Spaniard. If they do he will surely repay them with goals.