Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will deliberately avoid playing Fernando Torres between now and the end of the transfer window on September 1 in a bid to make the striker feel uncomfortable at Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese coach hopes to offload the Spain international within the next 13 days.
Goal.com’s chief correspondent Wayne Veysey revealed on Twitter that Torres is “comfortable” at Chelsea and has no desire to leave the west London outfit unless he is offered the same salary elsewhere. But Mourinho will put the player’s patience to the test over the next fortnight.
Mourinho must offload one overseas star
It’s reported that Torres currently earns a cool £175,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge. The former Liverpool star, who arrived at Chelsea in January 2011 for a British record £50 million fee, is contracted to the 2014/15 Premier League title favourites until the summer of 2016.
Mourinho needs to offload one of his overseas players to fall in line with Premier League and Champions League regulations - and Torres appears to be Mourinho’s number one choice to go.
There are 18 foreign first-team stars at Chelsea competing for 17 places, but the Blues have been unsuccessful in their efforts to find a buyer for Torres.
Watch: Fernando Torres in action
Mourinho knows he would have no such trouble finding a buyer for Czech Republic international Petr Cech, who is now Chelsea’s second-choice goalkeeper behind Thibaut Courtois, who produced a fine performance on his Premier League debut against Burnley on Monday night.
Cech is reportedly a target of both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, while enquiries from other top clubs are expected to be made after Cech was omitted from the Blues’ starting line-up at Turf Moor.
Before the match, Mourinho expressed his delight at having “two of the three best goalkeepers in the world” in his squad, and would be more than happy to keep both Courtois and Cech at Stamford Bridge this season.
Torres unlikely to play against Leicester or Everton
That will depend on both Cech and whether or not Mourinho can sell Torres, who has scored 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for the Blues.
The Spaniard was an unused substitute in the 3-1 victory over Burnley on Monday and is not expected to play a single minute against either Leicester City or Everton, with Mourinho opting to play Diego Costa and Didier Drogba instead.
This may be enough to finally convince Torres that, for the good of his own career, he should leave Stamford Bridge sooner rather than later.