x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Fernando Torres puts his foot in it at Chelsea

The misfiring forward appears to criticise his teammates in interview with Spanish website.

Fernando Torres was yesterday questioned by Chelsea over an interview in which he appeared to criticise his own teammates.

Torres spoke to the official website of Spain's Primera Liga last week, with an English translation later appearing on the striker's personal website.

Torres, who has endured a miserable run in front of goal since his £50 million (Dh291m) move from Liverpool, was quoted as branding Chelsea's "older" players as "very slow", and hailing new teammate Juan Mata as a necessary signing.

Andre Villas-Boas, the manager, sought an explanation from Torres, who claimed his words were not translated accurately on his own website.

Chelsea were seeking to obtain a copy of the interview in its original Spanish and Villas-Boas revealed he would warn Torres not to speak so candidly about the club in future if the translation did stand up.

He said: "We are going in-depth to regain the tape of that interview. We'll see if things play exactly as they are in that interview."

The interview was authorised by Chelsea, otherwise Torres would have been facing a fine.

Asked what action would be taken if the translation proved accurate, Villas-Boas said: "We'd just talk. Just talk. To share opinion. If it was unauthorised, I'd fine him. Of course."

He added: "Anyhow, it's one player's perspective. I don't think it's a perspective that the manager shares. I don't have to share my players' ideas sometimes. I think we have competence, apart from the "age problem", which for me is not a problem. Maybe we just have to speak about that situation and he has to see our view as well."

Torres's travails show no sign of abating. The 27 year old lost his place in the side for Saturday's Premier League win at Sunderland, having also failed even to make the bench for Spain's European Championship qualifier against Liechtenstein.

Villas-Boas did not offer Torres an explanation, having said 48 hours earlier that he would not hesitate to drop the striker if it benefited the team.

"I just made the changes," said Villas-Boas yesterday as he pondered whether to recall Torres for tonight's Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.

"I think any player who's not part of the squad, or the selected players, is not happy.

"I'm glad because maybe you can stimulate them to go one step further, or motivate them a bit more."

* Press Association