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On the Torres to Atletico Madrid talk

Chris Brunskill

With the emergence of Demba Ba as Chelsea's premier centre forward and rumours that Fernando Torres is pretty thoroughly unsettled at Stamford Bridge, there's plenty of speculation that the latter might want to move on. And that means the Atletico Madrid connection is being brought up again.

On one hand, it makes perfect sense. Atletico love Torres. Torres loves Atletico. They'll be in need of a striker when Radamel Falcao moves on. Torres isn't an entirely useless striker. From that point of view, it's a reasonable call, and that's why folks are talking about it.

But the main sticking point that virtually nobody seems to acknowledge is the huge wages that Torres is receiving at Stamford Bridge. His salary has been reported at somewhere between £9 and £10 million a season, and that's well beyond Atletico's ability to pay. That's also why Chelsea should be looking to shift him -- the Blues would do very well indeed to be rid of their £35 million obligation to Torres by basically any means necessary.

There are only two ways I can see Torres to Atletico making any sense. The first involved the striker taking an absolutely massive paycut plus some sort of buyout from the Blues, and in that case it'd be very difficult to see Chelsea making any money at all from a sale. The other is some sort of loan that sees us pay the majority of Torres' wages, which helps a little financially but would require the club to pick up another backup striker.

It's very tempting to fantasise about a world in which a team's just dying to take an expensive, relatively unproductive player off our hands, but in reality it'd take a lot of work to move him and at this point I'm just not sure if it's worth it unless something absolutely magical happens. If we can get rid of Torres without a buyout, it's a no-brainer, but in all likelihood we'll be stuck with most of his next three and a half years of wages no matter what.

And if we're going to be playing him, he might as well stick around to provide some cover and occasional rest for Ba and whoever else we bring in.

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