Fernando Torres could be set for a permanent exit from Chelsea in January, as Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke 04 are interested in buying him.
That’s according to German publication Bild, brought to our attention by the Daily Express, who claim that the 30-year-old forward could be dispensed of permanently by Jose Mourinho despite the fact that he’s currently out on loan at AC Milan.
Torres at Milan
The Spaniard showed glimpses of his ability during Mourinho’s debut season after his return to Stamford Bridge, but it wasn’t enough to stave off the harsh criticisms which have become a constant of his career since his £50 million move to west London in 2011.
Yet, despite the fact that he has yet to find his form in Italy, it’s said that Di Matteo is keen to work with him once more, having enjoyed a healthy relationship with the forward from his Champions League-winning tenure at the club.
As such Mourinho may be offered the ideal chance to offload Torres, who is earning £8m-a-year on his current deal with the Blues. With Diego Costa having quickly found his feet in English football - he’s already got nine Premier League goals in seven appearances this year - and Loic Remy looking every bit a classy backup, it does look as though the Spain international’s time is up.
At the moment it’s unclear just how much the Italian would have to pay for Torres’s signature, though it can be assumed it won’t be anywhere near the fee Chelsea paid for him in order to sign him from Liverpool. In any eventuality Di Matteo could perhaps use the striker to replace Julian Draxler, who is widely expected to leave next summer.
The burgeoning German superstar finds himself on the radar at Bayern Munich and Arsenal, and has plenty of other suitors who likely compete for his services if it looks like he’s ready to leave.
At £37 million he won’t come cheap though and, despite the fact he’s an established talent in the Bundesliga, his acquisition would represent a risk from any party looking to land him outside of Germany.