Chelsea Transfer News: Fernando Torres for Mattia Destro Swap Deal Reported

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

RIETI, ITALY - JULY 18:  Mattia Destro of Roma in action during the friendly match between AS Roma and Indonesia U23 at Stadio Centro d'Italia - Manlio Scopigno on July 18, 2014 in Rieti, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho is in pursuit of Italian forward Mattia Destro from Roma and is prepared to include Fernando Torres in the deal to secure the talented 23-year-old.

Sam Adams of the Mirror understands Chelsea will offer their £50 million signing from 2011 to the Serie A club on loan, in an attempt to sweeten a transfer for Destro.

Adams says Destro's current valuation is around the £20 million mark after the player scored 13 goals in the Italian league for his team in 2013-14.

But Destro's agent Renzo Contratto has now claimed that, despite Chelsea's interest, his client wishes to remain at his club, per The Telegraph:

It's true that Chelsea are interested in Mattia. But the reports regarding a swap deal have no foundation, it's all speculation. Roma don't want to sell Mattia and Mattia prefers to remain at Roma.

Torres has scored just 20 goals in his 110 games in the Premier League for the Blues since his record capture from Liverpool, per Adams, and has been one of the most costly failures of his generation.

It now seems Mourinho is prepared to cut his losses with the Spanish international and move him out of Stamford Bridge to make room for other players.

However, at the start of August, Mourinho claimed Torres would be staying with the west London team. Dean Jones of the Mirror reported on the Special One's words about Torres, during pre-season:

Fernando is a good player and will not be sold. Maybe the self-esteem in terms of goalscorer is not at the top. All eyes are on him and when he misses a goal, everybody remembers. But his work for the team is fantastic and because of that we can play with two of the forwards at the same time, no problem.

We can play Nando and Didier or Nando and Costa—like we did in Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday when he played from the side. Maybe we could even play both through the middle. When we are not winning matches, sometimes we play with three defenders and two strikers. Nando will always be a choice and a very useful player for us.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and Filipe Luis of Chelsea share a joke as Manager Jose Mourinho of Chelsea looks on after the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on August 18, 2014 in Burnley
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It is a credit to Mourinho that he publicly backed his player. But Torres was brought to Chelsea to score goals in the volume that he did on Merseyside, and the Stamford Bridge club have never been able to witness anything like the player who marauded around Anfield.

Torres does indeed have self-esteem issues in front of goal, and his psychological problems can no longer be described as a blip in form, considering his terrible goal record over many years.'s chief correspondent Wayne Veysey believes Torres still favours staying in the Premier League with his current club but that Mourinho will now do his best to move the player on:

FLORENCE, ITALY - MAY 26:  Mattia Destro of Italy during a training session at Coverciano on May 26, 2014 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Destro is an up-and-coming talent. but it is questionable whether he is the right player to replace Torres in the Chelsea squad. The Italian is a good finisher and a classic counter-attacking footballer, so he fits the general profile of a Mourinho forward.

He is also very neat and tidy in build-up play, and the Portuguese manager will feel he can develop his overall game. 

The time is right to lose Torres now especially after the arrival of Diego Costa.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Didier Drogba will offer Chelsea a credible threat from the bench, and Torres simply will not get game time in the refreshed squad after a busy summer of incoming transfers.

Torres will be remembered as possibly the biggest striking flop of the Premier League years, and the warning signs were there for Roman Abramovich before he sanctioned the deal with Liverpool.

Torres' injuries had been a concern toward the back end of his time at Liverpool, but Chelsea did not heed the warning. The Spaniard was once undoubtedly the best striker on the planet and Chelsea clearly thought they could push him back toward his best.

But it was not to be, and now his greatest value to Chelsea appears to be in the role of bait in future deals.