Fernando Torres will make his Chelsea debut against Liverpool on Sunday despite attempts by his former club to prevent him featuring in what is potentially an explosive occasion. The Spain striker spoke today of it being his "destiny" to play against Kenny Dalglish's side after his £50m move to the Premier League champions. Yet it is understood the Merseysiders did attempt to strike a gentleman's agreement that Torres would not be included at Stamford Bridge during protracted negotiations over his move on transfer deadline day.
It would have been illegal to write any such agreement into Torres's contract though his new club were never prepared to agree to that possibility. The striker eventually completed the formalities of his move to the capital with 13 minutes remaining before the deadline was due to pass with the delay in the resolution of the deal apparently partly due to talks over the Merseysiders' request. Liverpool refused to comment on the story tonight but sources at the club pointed out that they were well aware that any such clause would have been illegal.
Torres is already relishing the prospect of playing against his former club on Sunday. "It is like the destiny, he said. "It is not perfect for me but we will see what happens and I only have good words about Liverpool. They made me a top player and gave me the chance to play at the top level. . I will never say anything bad about Liverpool. I have been very happy there, but now the history is different and I am playing for Chelsea.
"If I have the chance to play, I will do my best for Chelsea and hopefully I can score. I felt from last summer that I need to do a step forward in my career and for my ambition as a footballer. I am joining a team that is at the top level. There is not another level after Chelsea."