Barcelona to Open £17m Transfer Talks with Chelsea for Striker Fernando Torres

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2013

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 15:  Fernando Torres of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Final between SL Benfica and Chelsea FC at Amsterdam Arena on May 15, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Barcelona is considering a huge transfer bid for a surprising name, Spanish newspaper Sport is reporting Wednesday: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres

The 29-year-old Spaniard is rumored to be up for grabs since Chelsea's hiring of new manager Jose Mourinho. While there are plenty of clubs across Europe that need scoring, Barcelona doesn't seem to fit the mold. 

So why would they be willing to spend a reported £17 million (20 million Euros) for a much-maligned, aging striker when they already have names like Lionel Messi, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, David Villa and more already available?

Or, put more bluntly, courtesy of the Daily Mail

Barcelona on the hunt for a striker who scores 20-25 goals a season... so why are Spanish champs set to bid £17m for Torres?

No, Torres hasn't exactly set the world on fire in recent years, totaling just 12 goals in his first 67 matches after joining Chelsea from Liverpool for £50 million in January of 2011. But El Nino quietly put up 22 goals in all competitions for the Blues this past season and played a large role in Rafa Benitez's Europa League-winning campaign.

According to the Metro:

Torres is happy with life at Chelsea, where [he] has three years remaining on his contract, but would welcome a return to Spain and accept a role playing second fiddle to Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

And with both Sanchez and Villa rumoured to be leaving the Nou Camp this offseason, the Daily Mail suggests that Barca coach Tito Vilanova sees Torres as a potential "super-sub."

Still, £17 million seems like an awful lot of dough to drop on a backup, even for a superpower like Barcelona. 

And while Serie A side Napoli has been the most bandied-about destination for Torres—possibly in a part-swap deal that would send Edinson Cavani to Stamford Bridge—the Spaniard has pledged his allegiance to Chelsea.

"I'm looking forward to the chance of working with Jose [Mourinho]," Torres told Sky Sports following the Special One's signing. 

"It is the same every summer, there is talk and rumours every day.

"When I signed for Chelsea I signed for five-and-a-half years and I want to be there for all of that."

But the feeling might not be mutual. Mourinho has expressed interest in pursuing attackers like Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina and Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski (both per the Daily Express), among others, which would seemingly cast some doubt on Torres' future with the club.

Torres is currently traveling with the Spanish national team in the United States and has been named to the roster for the upcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil. Mourinho is expected to begin talks with the striker once he returns to England following the tournament.