Chelsea are desperately seeking a buyer for striker Fernando Torres, with manager Jose Mourinho required to ditch one of his overseas stars ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
In order to fall in line with Premier League and Champions League rules relating to the home-grown player quota, the Blues must offload one of their foreign aces. Clubs can only name 17 foreign players over the age of 21 in their 25-man squads - but Chelsea now have 18 following the return of Didier Drogba.
According to the Telegraph, the much-maligned Torres is the player Mourinho is determined to sell. However, unless the west London outfit can find a club willing to pay the Spain international’s £20 million asking price - and £175,000-a-week wages - the Portuguese coach may consider selling goalkeeper Petr Cech, who is wanted by French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea hope that Atletico Madrid will take Torres back to the Vicente Calderon, seven years after he left his boyhood club for Liverpool. The 30-year-old, despite his struggles over the past three years, remains a hero in the eyes of the Atleti supporters, who would welcome him back with open arms.
Although Atletico made a hefty profit this summer on the sales of Diego Costa and Filipe Luis, the Madrid-based outfit have already spent significant cash on the acquisitions of Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann.
It’s also unclear whether Atletico head coach Diego Simeone regards Torres as a player suitable for his demanding system. The Argentine likes his players to press high up the field and work tirelessly for the team - but Torres is no longer the energetic striker of yesteryear.
Watch: Torres's latest epic miss
If Chelsea fail to offload Torres, then Mourinho may reluctantly allow Cech to leave Stamford Bridge.
The 32-year-old is poised to lose his first-team place to Belgium international Thibaut Courtois, who has cemented his status as arguably the world’s best goalkeeper during his three successive season-long loan spells with Atletico Madrid.
That Mourinho has extended the contract of veteran Mark Schwarzer, who turns 42 in October, indicates that the Chelsea boss has prepared for Cech’s potential departure.
Another foreign player Mourinho could attempt to sell is midfielder John Obi Mikel who, if he stays at Stamford Bridge, will play a peripheral role for the Blues next season.
Despite the sale of David Luiz to PSG, Chelsea are well-stocked in the holding midfield area and will allow the Nigeria international to leave the club if they manage to find a buyer.
Chelsea fans: which of the three players should Mourinho sell? Would you be unhappy to see any of them leave Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comments section below.
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