It’s no secret that Chelsea has a love affair with Liverpool’s Fernando Torres. Chelsea has on repeated occasions attempted to pluck the World Cup winner from Anfield, to take him to the posher confinements of Stamford Bridge in swanky west London. So the news tonight that Liverpool has rejected a reported £35-40 million bid from Chelsea hardly comes as a surprise.
However what is surprising is that Liverpool confirmed that an offer was made by Chelsea, and that it was rejected by the club. “The player is not for sale,” said a club spokesman.
But why should the club spokesperson have said anything at all about the rejected bid? Is Liverpool trying to covertly raise the awareness among rival clubs that Chelsea bid £40 million for the player, thus perhaps trying to ignite a price war? Yes, the club says the player isn’t for sale. But clubs often say that in hopes of appeasing supporters that they’re not trying to outwardly flog their most prized asset. And at the same time sending the signal that the player is a prized possession and that the club shall not let him go unless it’s a princely ransom.
The question is, at what price should Liverpool change it’s opinion that the player is not for sale? Consider that £40 million is a British transfer record offer. Also consider that Manchester City tried to sign Torres last summer. And imagine if Chelsea and Manchester City got into a price-war over the Spaniard with Real Madrid poking its head in to see if they could lure Torres back to Spain. With just a few days to go in the January transfer window, the thought of a full-scale price war for Torres must be delectable for Fenway Sports Group.
For a player who has only scored 9 league goals so far this season, £40 million is an incredible offer. Torres is slowly but surely regaining his form in the past few games but he is still a shadow of himself and his career at Liverpool has been riddled with nagging injuries which he has been slow to recover from. El Niño has the potential of getting back to his dangerous self especially under the management of the iconic Kenny Dalglish, but how long will that take?
My belief is that Liverpool should sell Torres if an offer of £45-50 million comes in for the striker. It’s unreasonable to expect that his value will exceed that in the next few years. And with £45-50 million in the bank, Liverpool could purchase footballers such as striker Luis Suarez for £20 million, midfielder Charlie Adam for £14 million and another proven striker, such as Diego Forlan, for up to £16 million to partner Suarez up front. Three players for the price of one sold. It’s something that Liverpool should seriously consider.
I realize that supporters of the Anfield club are emotionally attached to Torres who, at times, is one of the best strikers in the world. But the 26-year-old striker is not on top of his game right now and it’s still going to take precious time for him to get back to his best, if that’s even possible. Liverpool is currently at a crossroads where they need to rebuild for a new future. I think the Reds should take the money and run, and begin to recoup the profits they’ve made from him (given his original transfer fee of around £20 million from Atletico Madrid, and the countless shirts they’ve sold with his name adorned on the back).
It’s time for Torres to be sold to the highest bidder for the good of Liverpool. Every player has his price and £45-50 million is just about right.
UPDATE: Torres believes that a departure from Anfield is now the right move for his career, according to The Guardian. Despite the newspaper reporting yesterday that an exit clause was in his contract, the newspaper has now declared that there is, in fact, NO escape clause. The paper adds that “Torres does not want to miss out on the opportunity to join Chelsea for a second time. He has urged the Fenway Sports Group to broker an agreement that is good for both player and club.”
UPDATE: Fernando Torres submitted a written transfer request Friday to Liverpool, but the request was rejected according to the official club website.