Russians ready to offer £45m for Fernando
RUSSIAN rouble-rich club Anzhi Makhachkala are ready to hand Roman Abramovich £45m to take Fernando Torres away from his Stamford Bridge nightmare.
The news comes just hours after team mate Salomon Kalou gave Torres a ringing endorsement and predicted great things for the Spaniard in the near future.
Torres' management company also declared yesterday that the £50million man was finally being treated in the way he "deserves" at Stamford Bridge.
Bahia Internacional's Antonio Sanz echoed the sentiments of Kalou, who this week claimed his own resurgence was down to the faith placed in him by caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo.
However, Chelsea are in severe danger of breaching UEFA's new Fair Play guidelines if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League and may have to offload players to compensate.
Kalou (pictured above with Torres) had no doubt Torres, who laid on his winner in Tuesday's Champions League victory at Benfica, would ultimately prove a huge success at Chelsea.
"I'm glad he's playing, he's enjoying," Kalou said. "For me, he's still the striker he used to be and he just has to keep doing the hard work and the best is to come."
Spain striker Torres is beginning to show glimpses of the talent that saw Chelsea make him the most expensive player ever transferred between British clubs when they signed him from Liverpool.
He has started four of the Blues' seven matches since Di Matteo took charge, having played second fiddle to Didier Drogba under previous manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Sanz said: "With Villas-Boas, he was not considered, but the arrival of Di Matteo on the bench has seen him return to have the trust that he deserves."
Having failed to find the net for five months, Torres took just three games to end his miserable run in front of goal following Di Matteo's appointment.
He also maintained his fine record of assists in Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Sanz added: "He played a great match in the Champions League in Lisbon, assisting the winning goal for Kalou."
There is a long way to go before Torres can be said to have been worth the huge sum of money spent on him, especially as there is still a discernible lack of confidence in front of goal.
While that remains the case, the 28-year-old will continue to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
"We'll evaluate his future in the coming months," Sanz said.
"Fernando has another four years on his contract at Chelsea and the situation there has changed for him."
Torres is likely to return to bench duty for tomorrow's Premier League game at Aston Villa.