No one will stand in our way of signing Torres - Manchester City

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Liverpool are remaining calm, and it is believed that the Merseysiders have opened preliminary talks with their top stars to ensure their future remains at Anfield.

But there is still work to do when it comes to Fernando Torres. The rumour mill has been churning and it is understood that Torres reached an 'informal understanding' with Liverpool before New England Sports Ventures (NESV) group, headed by John W Henry, took over that he would be granted permission to leave at the end of this season if Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Torres' return to form against Chelsea has seen rumours resurface about a future transfer battle between Chelsea and big spending Manchester City over the Spaniard's signature.

Liverpool beat the Premier League Champions 2-0 thanks to a classy brace from 'El Nino' and it is these moments of quality that proved the difference between the two sides, but it also meant two of his biggest admirers are once again considering making a move for the hit-man.

How interested Chelsea are remains to be seen with manager Carlo Ancelotti insisting only last week that the Blues were not interested in making an approach for Torres, although a bid from Manchester City could force his hand.

While Mario Balotelli netted a brace for Manchester City in their win over West Brom, doubts remain over the long term future of Carlos Tevez with the Argentina international suffering from home-sickness and there is serious concerns that he could leave in the not too distant future.

It was reported last week that Manchester City vowed that no one will stand in their way when it comes to signing the Liverpool star in the summer.

The players advisors, Bahia International, have been contacted by the Eastlands club and have asked to be kept informed regarding any bids on the table for Torres, according to The People.

Manchester City see the £50 million rated striker as the ideal replacement for Carlos Tevez, should he decide to leave, and a source close to Torres said: "They are willing to pay one pound more than the best offer than comes in for Fernando.

"City want to prepare a new project with Torres as their main star. Next season they want to make sure they are fighting for the Premier League title from the first moment again."

This news will worry Liverpool as they now know that nothing but a top four finish will do for their Spanish star. With Liverpool seeing a return to form in recent weeks, catapulting them into the top half of the Premier League, the race for his signature is surely to hot up towards the end of the season.

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Manchester City
Premier League
Fernando Torres

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