Torres ‘not for sale’

Fernando Torres is not for sale “at any price” according to Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The striker has widely been regarded as a flop since joining the London club for £50 million from Liverpool in January and rumours were rife that the Blues were willing to take a loss in order to move the player on. However, Villas-Boas has denied Torres is heading for the exit door when the transfer window opens next month.

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge, has only found the net five times and the barren spell included a run of one goal in 18 appearances last term. His record of four in 18 this season is slightly better, but it is clear that he had underachieved in terms of what was expected of him.

“It’s not true. He is not available at any price,” said the Portuguese. “We are pretty sure when Fernando is called up he will respond with the quality and talent he has. We have to make the best decisions for the team.” Many people looking at the latest Champions League odds would not have been surprised by this.

However, Chelsea are already set to offload one striker this winter, with Nicolas Anelka set to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua when the transfer window opens.

Although Anelka has not played a significant part in Chelsea’s first team this season, his departure will mean the squad is slightly thinner up front and doubtlessly this will be on Villas-Boas’ mind as he looks to balance the demands of three competitions.

Chelsea are back in the title race after their victory over Manchester City on Monday, while they will also play in the knockout stages of the Champions League as well as competing in the FA Cup.