x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fernando Torres is not in the window at Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas says his little used striker, Fernando Torres, is 'not for sale at any price' and that Chelsea also still has uses for Frank Lampard.

Fernando Torres has been a part of Chelsea's on-field plans of late, but manager Andre Villas-Boas says that does not mean Torres will be moved during the January transfer window or in the summer.
Fernando Torres has been a part of Chelsea's on-field plans of late, but manager Andre Villas-Boas says that does not mean Torres will be moved during the January transfer window or in the summer.

Fernando Torres is "not for sale at any price", Andre Villas-Boas, his manager at Chelsea, said Thursday.

The 27-year-old Spanish striker joined the London club from Liverpool for a British transfer record fee of £50 million (Dh285m) last January, but has endured a forgettable year at Stamford Bridge.

He has scored only five goals in 35 appearances, played poorly most of the time and has started only one of Chelsea's last seven matches in all competitions.

He was an unused substitute in Monday's 2-1 win over the previously unbeaten Premier League leaders Manchester City and only came on for the last 13 minutes of Chelsea's Champions League win over Valencia on December 6.

As a result Torres has been widely linked with a move away from the club for a cut-price £20m fee in the January transfer window, but Villas-Boas told reporters at Chelsea's training ground that the Spain international is going nowhere.

"It is true: Fernando Torres is not for sale at any price, not now or in the summer," Villas-Boas said ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash with Wigan Athletic.

"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."

The Portuguese also gave the unsettled England midfielder Frank Lampard, who like Torres has lost his place in the starting line-up, a boost.

The 33-year-old Lampard, who has been at Chelsea for 10 years and made over 500 appearances for the club, came off the bench to score the winner from the penalty spot against City on Monday but has been recently sidelined while Villas-Boas has played Raul Meireles and 20-year-old Oriol Romeu in midfield.

On Wednesday, the midfielder told the BBC: "I want to play, simple as that. I'm as fit as I've ever been. I've been in a good run of form and now I've not been playing."

But, on Thursday, Villas-Boas sang Lampard's praises.

"Frank Lampard is a player of massive magnitude to this club," he said. "There are plenty of players that push for the starting 11 and Frank is not the only one.

"I think 'Lamps' is one of the top five players most used. Every player wants to be involved in every game but sometimes it's just not possible.

"We've been having conversations with all the players, we treat them all equally.

"The club's direction and fortune is the most important thing.

"There is no hiding that Lamps represents the best in the history of the club. These are players of massive magnitude and represent Chelsea's success but in our opinion every player must be treated equally.

"Sometimes, we can't please everybody."