Things haven’t gone according to plan for Fernando Torres.
The Spanish striker has struggled since moving to Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011, and he wants to cut his losses and return to Spain, according to the Mail.
“Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week how Blues owner Roman Abramovich has accepted his £50 million ($80 million) gamble on the Spain international has failed and was ready to move the striker out of Stamford Bridge,” the report says.
“And Torres has his heart set on a return to Spain as he looks to recapture the form that made him one of the most feared strikers in the world.
“The idea of having the Chelsea failure on his CV [resume] certainly irks the ex-Liverpool striker, but he has privately accepted he must leave west London, with Spain his preferred destination. Potentially, Torres could return to Atletico Madrid as part of Chelsea’s move to sign Radamel Falcao.”
Torres scored 81 goals for Liverpool from 2007-11, but his confidence, form, reputation and goal tally suffered since his record transfer. His first year in West London was stained by an absence of goals and a barrage of criticism. He was reportedly fed up with life on the bench and considered leaving Chelsea at the end of the 2011-12 season, but manager Roberto di Matteo assured him that he would play a major role at the club going forward.
The 28-year-old had a good start to the 2012-13 season, scoring four goals in Chelsea’s first seven Premier League games. But the former Anfield hero hasn’t scored a league goal since Oct. 6, prompting fears of another prolonged goal drought.
Chelsea’s is rumored to be interested in luring Falcao from Atletico Madrid, and the Blues are not put off by his £45 million ($71.6 million) price tag. Torres could make the numbers add up and satisfy Ateltico’s demands for a big-name replacement should Falcao leave.
The Colombian hitman may be the man of the moment at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, but Torres is a legend there. He rose through the youth ranks and graduated to the first team at young age. The boy they called “El Nino [the kid]” became club captain at age 19, and fans wished him all the best when completed a £25 million ($40 million) transfer to Liverpool in 2007.
A return to Ateltico Madrid or another Spanish club would complete one of the Premier League’s strangest tales. Once one of the world’s greatest players, Torres continues to fall from grace during what should be his peak years.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.