Jose Mourinho has ruled out any possibility of Fernando Torres leaving Stamford Bridge this summer, insisting the Spaniard still has a part to play as Chelsea's third choice striker.
The Sunday Mirror carries quotes from the Portuguese tactician who rubbished claims the £50 million misfit was on the verge of joining AC Milan, despite being omitted from the Blues first-team squad for Saturday's 2-0 home victory against Leicester City.
Torres scored just five Premier League goals in 28 appearances last season, but Mourinho believes the former Liverpool marksman can rediscover his form in 2014/15.
"No he isn’t [leaving for AC Milan]," responded the Special One emphatically after the game. "I want three strikers in the team. Sometimes I want two on the field and one on the bench.
"Somebody will be suspended or injured. I can’t go through a season without a third striker."
The £32 million arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and return of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has pushed Torres further down the first-team pecking order in west London, despite the departure of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku this summer.
Competition for places
However, Mourinho is certain that the striker will get plenty of action due to the busy fixture schedule that is set to ensue with domestic cup and European games to follow once the new campaign gets fully underway.
"He will play, he will score goals and he will be very useful for us," added the Chelsea boss. "He’s a fantastic guy, a fantastic professional.
“I told [the players] that this is the last week when we have one game per week, even if they feel 'I’m not playing, I’m the first, second or third option'. Next week we will have the Capital One cup and the Champions League will start after that.
"All of them will be playing, so there [are] no stories with Nando or any other player."
Despite Mourinho's assurances Torres is yet to feature in the Premier League this term, remaining an unused substitute in the 3-1 win against Burnley at Turf Moor before being dropped entirely for this weekend.