After reacquiring Ivory Coast superstar Didier Drogba, the Blues now have 18 foreign players over the age of 21. According to Matt Law of The Telegraph, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he intends to make a move in order to rectify the situation:
From the group you are expecting us to have as a squad, I have to send one away because we have one extra foreign player. So from all these players, if you think all of them have to stay, you are wrong. One of them has to go.
There is no question that getting rid of Torres would be ideal and is Chelsea's preference, per Law, but doing so is much easier said than done. The 30-year-old Spaniard has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, but his form is recent years has been uninspiring.
Torres has played parts of four seasons with Chelsea and has just 45 goals in 172 appearances despite being surrounded by top-flight talent. He is coming off a campaign in which he netted just 11 goals and appears to be on the downside of his career.
He first burst on to the scene with Atletico Madrid and spent seven seasons with them from 2000 through 2007. Atletico have been viewed as a potential suitor, but the demands from the Blues and Torres are steep, according to The Daily Mail:
For what little production Torres offered, Atletico Madrid or any other club would be crazy to spend that much. Equal or greater production than 11 goals can be found at a discount compared to what it might take to land Torres.
Per Samuel Stevens of The Independent, Chelsea are hopeful that either Atletico Madrid or Monaco will take the bait and buy Torres. If that doesn't come to fruition, though, the fear is that Chelsea will lose rock-solid goalkeeper Petr Cech.
As things currently stand, the Blues have two choices when it comes to Torres. They can either lower the asking price significantly or they can bite the bullet and keep him. Even if Chelsea are willing to sell Torres for less, he will be tough to move because of his wage demands.
There isn't much the Blues can do in terms of forcing him to alter his asking price, so they are at Torres' mercy to some degree. Rather than sitting around and wishing for someone to whisk Torres away, Chelsea would be better off exploring other possibilities at this point.
Stevens mentions a transfer of John Obi Mikel as a possibility, which is something clubs might be more willing to partake in. If nobody wants Mikel either, though, the Blues may have to make an undesirable move.
Sending Cech away would hurt in terms of depth, but clubs will line up to score a 'keeper of his caliber. Also, Chelsea already have Thibaut Courtois, who appears ready to take on the starting job. With that in mind, moving Cech wouldn't severely damage their chances of winning the Premier League title.
Getting stuck with Torres is Chelsea's own doing, so they have to live with the consequences. Losing a player of real value is never a good thing, but it is time for the Blues to be realistic.
Torres isn't coveted at his asking price, and there is no use in convincing clubs that he is worth it.
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