Sunday 28 December 2014 11:48, UK
Fernando Torres will join Milan permanently on January 5 ahead of his expected return to Atletico Madrid.
The Chelsea striker is four months into a two-year loan deal at Milan but has scored just once, and reports have emerged in recent days of a move to the Spanish champions, where he rose from the youth ranks to club captain.
A swap with Atletico's Italy international Alessio Cerci has been proposed and, according to Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, the technicalities of that double loan deal mean Torres must first register permanently with Milan.
Balague told Sky Sports News HQ: "He is going to AC Milan - it will be announced on the 5 January. But around that time it will also be announced that he will be going on loan to Atletico, for perhaps 18 months, that's what I'm hearing.
"The reason why everything is being done this way is that they (Atletico) did not have the money to get Torres transferred but they will have him on loan.
"AC Milan will be happy to have Cerci on loan. So what is eventually going to be is a swap of loan deals. Cerci is going to go Milan, and Torres is going to go to Atletico.
"Torres is a legend there - he was at Atletico for seven seasons, five of them as captain of the team. When he left he said 'I will come back'. For him I think it will help him rediscover his love of football."
Atletico's assistant manager German Burgos earlier revealed the deal was “on the verge of completion" and said: “He will be a very important reinforcement for the second half of the season. We will get the best out of him, the same as everyone, and he knows where he is coming to.”
Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool for £50m in January 2011, a fee which remains a record for a transfer involving two English clubs.
A statement on the Chelsea's website read: "Chelsea Football Club thanks Fernando for his service during the past four seasons and wishes him the very best for the future."