Fernando Torres has told Liverpool to sit down and negotiate with Chelsea, having reached the point at which he believes that a departure from Anfield is now the right move for his career. With four days of the winter transfer window remaining the striker is aware that time is running out but he 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. There is not, however, a clause that will allow Torres to unilaterally break his contract in this transfer window.
Chelsea made a bid for Torres during the summer but the striker was told that he would not be able to depart with the club undergoing a sales process. The price quoted for his transfer was so high as to be simply a symbolic "not for sale" sign. At the time, Torres sought assurances that he would be able to depart in the future, should an acceptable bid be made and he consider a move necessary. Those discussions were held with the then managing director Christian Purslow who has now left the club – and no written legal clause was signed.
Torres also wanted assurances over the future of the club when Liverpool were taken over by the new owners. Torres's camp believes that promises have been broken. Liverpool are not the club that Torres joined and the striker is pessimistic over the future and his patience has worn thin with the absence of investment or activity since the takeover. Roy Hodgson's departure and the appointment of Kenny Dalglish was a step in the right direction but is not enough. Liverpool have only made one significant move in the transfer window, for the Uruguay striker Luis Suárez.
It is now a case of Liverpool convincing Torres not to go. The striker can see little real argument to continue at Anfield. Although there is no plan to force a move through and despite the recognition that Liverpool could block the move, Torres believes that an immediate departure is the best solution. Liverpool's decision to announce the bid could be interpreted as an attempt to flush Torres out and force him to push for an exit.
If he were to join Chelsea, Torres would be eligible to play in the Champions League. He is hopeful of Liverpool recognising that his departure could be good for all concerned. Liverpool signed Torres for £23m; they could make more than £20m in profit if they were to sell now. Indeed, it is the money from a Torres deal that could unlock the funds necessary to make an improved bid to clinch Suárez.
Liverpool have reopened talks with Ajax over Suárez this afternoon and, it is believed, made a breakthrough over a transfer fee for the Uruguay international. Ajax rejected a £12.8m offer from Liverpool for their captain this week and had insisted on €30m (£25.8m) for the deal to happen. Suárez has told the coach, Frank De Boer, that he wishes to leave Amsterdam for Merseyside and, mindful that his value will drop if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, Ajax are now understood to be open to a compromise fee with Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's manager, Carlo Ancelotti, refused to be drawn on his club's bid for Fernando Torres but said he was happy that "the club are trying to do everything they can to improve the squad". But Ancelotti added: "I don't want to speak about this, you will have to ask the club. He is not my player and I have to have respect for Liverpool. I don't like to speak about this."
Ancelotti had previously intimated that the club's protracted pursuit of the Benfica defender David Luiz would be their only major move of the January transfer window. Asked if the Torres bid had therefore caught him by surprise, he said: "I'm not surprised, because I know very well what the club is doing now. I am happy because the club is doing a fantastic job in this transfer market. The club is trying to do everything to improve the squad."