As Chelsea arrive in the USA for their post-season tour, Fernando Torres has admitted that he always dreamt of working under Jose Mourinho - and that the whole squad is excited by his expected return.
Torres, who believes he is rediscovering his best form and wants to stay at Chelsea, is thrilled at the prospect of playing under Mourinho.
He told reporters: "The chance to work with Mourinho is something every player wants to do at least once in their lives.
“He has been at the club before, some of the players have worked with him and know what kind of manager he is.
"Obviously we are waiting for the news about the new manager," Torres continued, amid yesterday's revelation that Mourinho will soon leave Real Madrid by mutual consent, "Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world.
"Normally, everyone is linking Mourinho with Chelsea but we will see what happens. I think we have to be ready [for him to come]. I am really looking forward to next season, it’s going to be very exciting."
Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and John Terry all played under Mourinho in his first spell between 2004 and 2007, when the Blues won five major trophies, while Torres expects to improve significantly with the Portuguese's guidance.
The 27-year-old, who is one of 23 Chelsea players in America for two exhibition games against Manchester City in St Louis and New York, ended this campaign with 22 goals, most notably to help win the Europa League title.
"I scored more goals than last season and I’m closer to my normal statistics. I’m happy about my end to the season and statistics but I will be asking much more of myself and hopefully next season will be much better."
Chelsea finished 14 points behind champions Manchester United yet Torres, who had his highest goalscoring tally since joining from Liverpool for £50 million in 2011, is confident that they will provide a stronger challenge next season.
"I don’t think we are far away [from being a title-winning side]," he said. "The Premier League is tough. If you lose a couple of games you’re out of the race. You could see Manchester United were very consistent and even Manchester City couldn’t keep winning games the same way and United won the League two months before the end.
"But we’re good enough to be consistent. We need to learn from what we did badly, it’s a young squad and hopefully the experience of this year can help people for next time.
"We must be happy with the way we ended the season. It wasn’t the way we wanted to do it when we started but during the season you have to adjust the targets and objectives.
"In the past couple of months we worked really hard to secure third place and win the Europa League. We have done both so we must be happy."
Captain John Terry and Ryan Bertrand have remained in London to recover from their respective leg injuries but Eden Hazard could feature for the first time since Chelsea secured Champions League qualification against Aston Villa.
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