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Chelsea FC Transfer Rumours: Fernando Torres Hands In Transfer Request?

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Well, nobody said the January transfer window made any sense. Liverpool star Fernando Torres was the recent subject of a failed £35M bid by Chelsea, and it seems like the striker is sick to death of being in a rebuilding effort, and wants to explore his options. There've been numerous reports today that Torres has gone so far as to hand in a transfer request, but there's also been zero confirmation of that from credible sources (no, Guardian, you no longer count), so don't take that too seriously.

Regardless, even if Torres does wish to leave Anfield to make a move to Stamford Bridge, he's probably worth a lot more to Liverpool than a mere £35M. Rumours that Torres included a £50M buyout clause in his new contract, signed last summer, have proven inaccurate (ed: probably). I think it's fairly clear that Torres will be very expensive. Considering he's currently on £110,000 a week, and guessing at a new three and a half year deal, Torres's transfer and wages would end up costing Chelsea around £65M, with about two thirds of that going directly to Liverpool, who should probably still be considered a direct rival despite their past two seasons.

Torres is an excellent striker, but that is a lot of money for an oft-injured, sometimes-sulking 26 year old. You can make arguments that he's proven his class in the Premier League and is thus a known quantity - I would counter with the fact that no matter how much you know about a footballer, they're massively volatile. Torres was excellent in the league when he wasn't a 'known quantity', and he was rubbish for Spain when he was. We are sometimes too confident in a player's abilities when we know them as well as we do Torres. What he has proven in the past is not and never has been a guarantee of the future.

Anyway, I'm worried about this. I don't think it's wise to pursue players who are established superstars, no matter how good they are. Chelsea's most successful purchases have been up and coming players - Didier Drogba was a virtual unknown when he was picked up from Marseilles in 2004, and few would have recognised the name Michael Essien before the Blues splashed out £24.4M for him in 2005. I would love to have Torres on the team, in a land of infinite money, but although we clearly have a lot to spend there'll be an end to the shopping spree at some point and a return to austerity.

If Chelsea are 100% convinced this is the right thing to do, moving forwards, then I support that. I don't understand how Drogba and Torres could possibly play together, since they both occupy the same space, but I assume that the coaching staff is bright enough to figure that one out. At the very least it's an exciting idea - I just hope it's as the keystone to a series of purchases focused on younger, developing talent rather than in lieu of them.

PS: Isn't it interesting that Torres is sick of the rebuild at Liverpool and wants to go to a club that looks like it might be in danger of needing a severe rebuild? Granted, Torres' addition would improve Chelsea, but still...