Chelsea are in talks to swap striker Fernando Torres with AS Roma forward Mattia Destro, it has emerged. With 11 days left to go before the summer transfer window closes, Jose Mourinho is keen to offload the £50 million Spain international, who could join the Serie A outfit on an initial loan deal.
This is according to the Times, who claim that Chelsea are keen to sign the 23-year-old Italy international Destro to provide competition for Diego Costa and Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea can't find a buyer for Chelsea
Mourinho is believed to be keen to sell Torres, but the 30-year-old is contracted to Chelsea until the summer of 2016 and is not prepared to take a pay cut on his £175,000-a-week deal.
His huge wage demands means Chelsea have been unsuccessful in their attempts to find a buyer for the former Liverpool star, who joined the Blues in for a British transfer record fee of £50 million in January 2011.
Torres's three-and-a-half year stint has been an unmitigated disaster on an individual level: in 110 Premier League matches for the west London outfit, he has netted a pitiful 20 goals.
However, during that period of time, Torres has received winners' medals for the FA Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.
Mourinho wants to sell Torres
It emerged earlier this week that Torres feels comfortable at Chelsea, despite falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, and is not in any rush to leave the club.
But Mourinho is desperate to sell the striker before September 2. The Portuguese coach needs to offload one of his overseas stars before the transfer window closes - 18 foreign players are currently competing for 17 places - and Torres is the player Mourinho is determined to move on.
Whether that happens depends on Torres, but it's believed Mourinho will attempt to make the Spaniard feel as uncomfortable as possible by deliberately refusing to play him against either Leicester City or Everton.
Watch: Fernando Torres in action for Chelsea
Is Destro a significant upgrade?
Whether Destro is a significant upgrade on Torres, however, is debatable. The £20 million-rated striker, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham in recent weeks, has mostly been used as a substitute at Roma since signing from Siena two years ago.
He was left out of the Italy's 2014 World Cup squad by manager Cesare Prandelli, and has only scored one goal in five appearances for the Azzurri since making his senior international debut in 2012.
But it seems Mourinho - and perhaps many Chelsea supporters - and now of the opinion that any striker of a reasonable standard would be an upgrade on the misfiring Torres.