Demba Ba has urged Fernando Torres to quit Chelsea this summer, insisting the striker can find happiness away from Stamford Bridge.
The Daily Star carries quotes from the Besiktas frontman encouraging his former teammate to follow his example by leaving west London in pursuit of more regular football after falling down the first-team pecking order with the Blues.
Torres has become more and more of a fringe player under Jose Mourinho and the £32 million arrival of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and free transfer capture of club legend Didier Drogba is likely to see the Spaniard marginalised even further this season.
Many had expected the 30-year-old to leave Chelsea this summer as part of the fire-sale of strikers that saw Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto'o follow Ba out of the club.
However, despite a number of reported admirers of Torres, few are willing to match the £50 million flop's £150,000-a-week wages, which has ultimately proved the sticking point for a potential exit.
Demba Ba quotes:
"I wish Fernando the best, I just wish he is going to find happiness," said Ba. "It's hard when you are always on the bench, but you just have to keep your head up and work hard.
"People think footballers are happy to just take the money, but we are in training every day, every single day we are working hard.
"Of course we have a lot of money but if we have the money it is because the money is there."
Ba also revealed that he could've remained at Chelsea this season after holding positive talks with Mourinho over his form towards the end of 2013/14, but the Senegal international said that he wouldn't have been happy to settle for a bit-part role with the Premier League giants, something he was becoming accustomed to at Stamford Bridge.
Asked how Torres will cope being a peripheral figure in the Blues squad, the 29-year-old admitted he was unsure how the situation would play out.
"Hard. I don't know where he will be happy, but I just want him to have happiness because he is a nice guy.
"I could have stayed because I spoke to Jose and he was impressed with the end of the season I had. He told me I would have a better position this season, but i just wanted to go and enjoy myself.
"People love football, for me it is the first sport in the world. Of course there is a lot of money in it and of course we are happy to make a lot of money and of course a lot of people would love to be in our position. But they are not because they do not have the quality to be there."
Lots of Chelsea fans have questioned whether Torres has the necessary quality after a disastrous run of form that has extended the best part of four years. Since joining the Blues from Liverpool in January 2011 the striker has scored just 46 goals, costing the club over £1 million-per-goal - and that's before you even consider what Roman Abramovich has paid Torres in wages.
A new challenge abroad might help Torres rejuvenate his dwindling career, with AC Milan identified as the most likely destination for him between now and Sunday's transfer deadline.
However, any potential move could be put on hold until Mourinho finds another striker to bring in, after Costa suffered a muscle injury in training this week. It remains to be seen how serious the knock sustained by Chelsea's first-choice striker is, but either way the Portuguese tactician will be reluctant to proceed with just two frontmen in his squad.
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