No thanks! Barca and Real turn down the chance to rescue misfit Torres
Barcelona and Real Madrid have ruled out a move to rescue Fernando Torres from English football.
The two biggest clubs in Spain have been sounded out about Torres” future but have shown no interest in the 50million striker.
Despite similar rumblings at Barcelona about the future of David Villa, coach Pep Guardiola insists he is not for sale and maintains there will not be an opening at the Nou Camp for Chelsea”s misfiring front man.
Kneesy does it: Torres is still yet to make his mark at Stamford Bridge
Real coach Jose Mourinho is not short of striking options and Torres” previous career at city rivals Atletico would be a major obstacle to a move to the Bernabeu.
Although Chelsea insist Torres is part of their plans, the latest in a string of denials simply protects the club in the event they cannot find a buyer in January.
The option of an emotional return to Atletico has also been ruled out because the club owe €200million and cannot afford either a transfer fee or meet their former captain”s salary expectations.
Atletico striker Falcao worked under Andre Villas-Boas when he was at Porto but swapping the two forwards is also prohibitively expensive. Falcao is owned by a third party and Chelsea would have to buy the Colombian outright to comply with Premier League rules.
Torres has failed to make an impact at Chelsea since his 50m move from Liverpool and refused to celebrate Frank Lampard”s emotionally charged winner against Manchester City on Monday.
Firing blanks: Torres failed to trouble the scoresheet again, whereas fellow sub Lampard bagged the winner (below)
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Unloading Torres is not the only change Villas-Boas is contemplating at Chelsea as he seeks to revamp his squad.The recruitment of younger players is a key component of his plan as the core of the club”s squad are approaching the twilight of their distinguished careers.
John Terry, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda are all in their 30s and Villas-Boas has ordered the club”s scouts to compile a list of the best emerging talent.
Chelsea”s network of scouts have already embarked on a search to identify potential targets in time for the next two transfer windows.
A source said: “Chelsea really have gone into overdrive. Scouts seem to be everywhere at the moment looking at players. Chelsea have not been this active with regards to scouting for years.
“It”s safe to say there will be a fair amount of player recruitment at Chelsea in the coming months.”
One target already identified is Ajax centre back Jan Vertonghen. Chelsea scouts have watched the Belgium star several times this season, including in last week”s Champions League defeat by Real Madrid in Amsterdam.
Bolton defender Gary Cahill remains Villas-Boas”s first-choice central defender, given his Premier League experience. However, Chelsea representatives have been impressed with Vertonghen and the 24-year-old is viewed as an option if a move for Cahill fails.
Reinforcements: Azpilicueta (above left) and Cahill (below) are on Chelsea”s radar
Scouts were also at Barcelona”s victory over BATE Borisov in Spain last Wednesday knowing Guardiola would field a team of youngsters with a last 16 place already secured.
Villas-Boas has already benefited from keeping an eye on Barca”s next batch of stars, having signed the impressive Oriol Romeu from the Nou Camp in the summer, and the Portuguese manager remains keen on keeping abreast on the progress of the club”s starlets.
Chelsea scouts have also been impressed by Marseille right back Cesar Azpilicueta and Napoli”s dangerous Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani.