Liverpool Reject Chelsea Bid for Torres
Liverpool have turned down an audacious bid by Chelsea for striker Fernando Torres, the English Premier League club confirmed on Friday.
Chelsea, who are believed to have tabled a similar bid for the player last summer, had been told that the Spanish international was not for sale, Liverpool said in a statement on its website.
"Chelsea have made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down," a Liverpool spokesman said. "The player is not for sale."
Newspaper reports earlier put Chelsea's bid at 35 million pounds.
Torres, 26, is under contract at Liverpool until 2013. However he is widely reported to have a buy-out clause in his deal which will allow him to leave if another team matches his 50 million pound valuation.
The clause was believed to have been inserted as a concession to Torres after Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League last season amid uncertainty over the club's ownership.
The fact that Torres would be eligible for Chelsea's Champions League campaign this season may persuade the English double-winners to increase their bid to the 50 million pound mark.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is expected to overhaul Chelsea's ageing squad, where a number of stalwarts such as Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry are nearing the end of their careers at Stamford Bridge.
After a difficult start to the season, Torres appears to have been revitalized under new Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, netting three goals in his last four appearances for the Reds.
Liverpool have reportedly tabled a bid for Ajax striker Luis Suarez as they attempt to strengthen their attacking options.