Abramovich travels to South Africa in attempt to lure Torres
Roman Abramovich has travelled to South Africa in the hope of persuading Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to join Chelsea this summer, according to the Telegraph.
The Chelsea owner is confident that a bid of around £35 million will be enough to persuade cash-strapped Liverpool to sell the Spanish striker, but should the Merseyside club reject the offer Abramovich is willing to spend up to £50 million on the former Atletico Madrid man.
The Russian billionaire flew to South Africa hoping to meet with Torres’ agent Juan Antonio Martin in a bid to show how serious he is about taking the Liverpool striker to Stamford Bridge this summer, with a source close to the deal telling the Telegraph the Chelsea owner is “pushing very hard” to complete the deal.
But the £50 million Chelsea are willing to offer for Torres may not be enough to grab the attention of Anfield executives who value Torres at around £75 million.
Should Chelsea not meet the demands set out by Liverpool then Manchester City will step in and try and lure Torres to Eastlands, though a deal would be doubtful with the Spanish international unlikely to move to a club without Champions League football.
It is believed Torres has become frustrated with the situation at Anfield after his calls to add four or five top-class players this summer were ignored, with more quality talent expected to leave Anfield than what will come in.
The Spaniard has already spoke briefly with new Reds boss Roy Hodgson over the phone but will look to meet him following the World Cup before making any decision over his future at Anfield.
Argentina captain Javier Mascherano has already said that his future may lie elsewhere and a potential move to Inter Milan to rejoin Rafael BenÃƒÂtez may be on the cards should the Italian giants meet the asking price for the defensive midfielder.
Captain Steven Gerrard’s future is also in doubt with the Liverpool and England midfielder yet to state his intentions after a disappointing World Cup in South Africa. It is believed Real Madrid are interested in the Liverpool skipper but Jose Mourinho is prioritising other targets ahead of the 30-year-old.