Blues wrap up Torres deal
Blues land Spanish ace in last-gasp £50million swoop
By Rachel Griffiths - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsRachG. Last Updated: 01/02/11 10:07am
Chelsea have completed their transfer deadline-day swoop for Fernando Torres from Liverpool on a five-and-a-half-year contract.
The deal went right down to the wire ahead of the transfer window closing, with Torres only travelling down to London late on Monday evening to undergo a last-minute medical.
But the Blues managed to push through the late deal before the window slammed shut, with the Spaniard penning a contract thought to be worth around £50million - a British transfer record.
Premier League champions Chelsea first made a move for the Spaniard on Thursday with an unsuccessful £35m offer for his services.
And Carlo Ancelotti's side persisted in their chase for the striker, despite the Reds insisting he was not on the market.
Liverpool changed their stance over 26-year-old Torres after moving for Newcastle striking ace Andy Carroll and Ajax star Luis Suarez in two last-minute swoops of their own on Monday.
A statement on Torres' official website said: "Spain international Fernando Torres will defend the Blue shirt of Chelsea after joining the London club on the January transfer deadline.
"The striker has signed for the reigning Premier League and FA Cup champions for five and a half seasons.
"After Liverpool and Chelsea had reached an agreement, the player travelled down to London where he successfully passed his medical before agreeing personal terms.
"Fernando Torres then put pen to paper on a deal that will see the forward remain at Chelsea until June 2016."
Torres says he is delighted to complete the move to Stamford Bridge.
"I am very happy with my transfer to Chelsea and I am looking forward very much to helping my new team-mates this season and for many years to come," he said.
"Having played against Chelsea many times since coming to England, and in some very big games I will never forget, I know there are many great players here and I will work hard to win a place in the team.
"I hope I can score some important goals for the supporters to enjoy this season."
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: "This is a very significant day for Chelsea, capturing one of the best players in the world with his peak years ahead of him.
"We have long admired the talents of a player who is a proven goalscorer in English football and Fernando's arrival is a sign of our continuing high ambitious. I hope every Chelsea fan is as excited as I am with this news."
Torres established himself as a key player at Anfield during his time on Merseyside, but has struggled to find his top form this season.
The Spaniard, who spent almost four years at Liverpool after arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2007, could take on his former club as early as this weekend when the Reds travel to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.