According to Spain-based journalist Graham Hunter, Spanish giants Barcelona are ready to make a £17millon bid for Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
The striker has not quite found his top form with Chelsea and that has led to the striker being constantly linked with a move elsewhere.
“It is a well-sourced story,” Hunter told Sky Sports News.
“Barcelona do want to add a centre forward and are in the process of selling David Villa. Although they have added Neymar and have a replete armoury of different kinds of strikers, they do want a No 9.
“Every time Torres played for Atletico Madrid against them he scored and terrorised them at Camp Nou. He also scored for Chelsea when they were knocked out of the Champions League.
“He is patently full of vim and vigour after an initial difficult time at Chelsea. The Barca president has long coveted him and once advised his board to bid for Torres.
“They believe there may be movement at Chelsea and that new coach Jose Mourinho will try to bring in different strikers and that Torres may become available”.
I have to say I respect Graham’s knowledge and contacts in the Spanish game, so this story may well just happen. His information about Spanish football is usually spot-on and he is based in Barcelona so he is close to many of the big Spanish transfer stories.
When Torres arrived at Chelsea in 2011 from Liverpool for a British record fee of £50million, the Spaniard was expected to light-up Stamford Bridge with performances and goals. However, his goals record since his move has not been great and he is considered a ‘flop’ by many.
On the up-side for Torres, his form did improve last season and he found the net 22 times in all competitions, helping Chelsea win the Europa League by scoring six goals, including the opening goal in the Blues 2-1 final defeat of Benfica.
Despite rumours that the Spanish international is set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stated that he wants Torres to stay. Whether that still stands if Chelsea strengthen their attack this summer remains to be seen.
Chelsea would be making a huge financial loss of £33million on Torres’ transfer fee, should the Spaniard leave for the mooted fee. That is even before you bring Torres’ wages into the equation. Even for a financially well-supported club like Chelsea that is a lot of money to lose on one player.
A move to Barcelona would be a good one for any player, but for Fernando Torres it would mean that he would be joining a number of his Spanish international colleagues. The consensus amongst those players seems to be that Torres is still an excellent striker.
Torres has certainly combined well with the likes of Pedro, Xavi and Andres Iniesta well at international level. I am sure that the Barcelona players would welcome Torres’ arrival in the Catalan capital.
Torres’ international colleague David Villa is expecting to leave the club this summer. A number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and Tottenham have shown an interest in the striker. It seems that Torres is seen as a replacement for the former-Valencia ace.
He would not be a like-for-like replacement, but he would not be the worst replacement in the world for Villa.
Fernando Torres is seen very differently in Spain, than he is in England. Torres is regarded as an underachiever in England, whereas in Spain he is highly respected due to his achievements with La Roja.
Maybe the price tag has clouded English football fans judgement of Fernando Torres, and maybe he is not the same player as the one that burst onto the Premier League scene with Liverpool. However, he is still a very capable striker.
Although he may not have score bucket full of goals last season, Torres started to show why he was once one of the most feared strikers in world football. Injuries have taken their toll on Torres body and that has affected his ability.
Torres still has to be regarded as a very dangerous striker and if he can build on the form shown at times last season, then Chelsea would be foolish to allow him to leave Stamford Bridge.
Fernando Torres may have a big decision to make on his future this summer. Staying at Chelsea or moving to Barcelona, not many are in such a privileged position.
Fernando Torres may not be the player he was at 21 years old, but if Barca could sign him for £17million I would suggest that he could prove to be a very good signing. Only time will tell what the future holds for the Spanish international.
Could Fernando Torres be moving to Barcelona this summer?