Liverpool will sell striker Fernando Torres before the end of January –but only if Chelsea agree a £50m package, BBC Sport has learnt. The Reds have already rejected a £35m bid from Chelsea for the 26-year-old Spaniard, who arrived at Anfield from Atletico Madrid in 2007 in a £20m deal. Liverpool also turned down a transfer request from Torres on Friday.
Another option could be a £40m deal, with a world-class replacement - namely Nicolas Anelka - returning to Anfield. Despite reports, Liverpool are not interested in bringing Chelsea’s young back-up striker Daniel Sturridge to Anfield.
The Reds are angered by the timing of Torres’ request, and believe Chelsea have ‘tapped up’ the player by encouraging him to express a desire to leave.
Torres has a £50m release clause in his contract, but this only entitles him to leave if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, so even if Chelsea offer a package of that amount, Liverpool believe they could still force him to stay.
Manager Kenny Dalglish and the club’s owners see little point in forcing him to remain at Anfield against his will, but are determined to hold out for what they see as a more realistic bid – and what would be a British record transfer fee.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City have all faced battles to keep hold of Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez respectively in recent months.