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Villas-Boas pledges support to Torres

CHELSEA boss Andre Villas-Boas has declared he would not rest until he made Fernando Torres one of the best strikers in the world again.

Villas-Boas claimed he was even prepared to tolerate another year of failure from the £50million man, rubbishing reports the Blues were considering cutting their losses by selling Torres for £20m when the transfer window opens.

Torres is in danger of being branded the most expensive flop in football history, having scored just five goals for Chelsea since his January move from Liverpool.

Villas-Boas made the 27-year-old his number one striker after taking charge at Stamford Bridge this summer but after a brief flurry of four goals in four games, Torres lost his place to Didier Drogba.

Reports this week claimed Chelsea had already lost patience with the man who holds the transfer record between British clubs but Villas-Boas today insisted Torres was "not for sale at any price", now or next summer. Indeed, the Blues boss insisted he was on a mission to ensure Torres came good, even if the striker's struggles continued until this time next season.


"I think so," Villas-Boas said.

"This is a talent that is never in doubt. So we have to be very, very patient and I'm sure that we can turn this around."

Villas-Boas, who last month admitted he and his coaching staff would have failed if they did not make Torres a success, added: "That's one of the prerogatives of the manager, to try to get the best out of everybody.

"It takes time."

Torres looks set to be given that time when Drogba goes on African Nations Cup duty in January.

Villas-Boas was confident Torres would rediscover his form but admitted he needed goals to do so.

"I think it comes with self-confidence and motivation and hitting the back of the net," he said.

"A player who wears the number nine lives for goals and a player who is a striker lives for goals."