Chelsea aim for Torres
CHELSEA are planning to test the resolve of Liverpool's new owners by making a fresh bid for Fernando Torres in the January transfer window.
Liverpool rejected an offer of £25million for the Spain striker last summer, but Chelsea are hoping to exploit the regime change at Anfield and the team's poor start to the season by signing one of their prized assets.
Torres professed his loyalty to Liverpool in a prearranged statement as recently as August, but his commitment is contingent upon the club challenging for the biggest trophies, which are already looking out of reach this season as they languish nineteenth in the Premier League.
More significantly, the club did not convince Torres to extend his contract, which expires in 2013, and as a result will need to be renegotiated next summer in order to protect his transfer value.
The 26-year-old has looked unsettled as he has struggled to find his form this season and was criticised by Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager, after Sunday's 2-0 defeat away to Everton.
Liverpool value Torres at more than £50m, but Chelsea hope to use the player's disenchantment and the club's uncertain financial position to prise him away for less. (© The Times, London)