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Torres assured he will be lead striker at the Bridge next season


Fernando Torres was assured yesterday that he has won his battle to be Chelsea's lead striker next season when the club's chief executive said that – despite the Spaniard's post-Champions League final outburst about his recent unhappiness – the £50m forward would be at the centre of the Chelsea team.

Chelsea will not take any action against Torres, right, and it was clear from CEO Ron Gourlay's words that the new manager – whether it is Roberto Di Matteo or not – will be expected to accommodate Torres in his team. With Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou both leaving, there will be pressure on Torres, who has scored 12 goals in one and a half seasons, to fill the void.

Gourlay said: "Fernando is fine. We all get emotional. Everyone wants to play in the Champions League final. I was with Fernando Torres and the boys in the dressing room afterwards and nobody was disappointed.

"We've got Fernando Torres. And Fernando Torres is the man that we will go forward with and Fernando Torres will score us the goals. I have no doubt about that. Fernando Torres is a world-class centre-forward.

"He was disappointed that he didn't play, and I think that led to the rest. Things are fine. Fernando is a fantastic player and an asset to the football club."

Asked if Chelsea would be signing another striker, Gourlay said: "We may have two big-name centre-forwards scoring 25-30 goals for us next season and maybe then we will improve on our sixth position in the league." He refused to elaborate on Chelsea's targets, which include Radamel Falcao, Hulk, Eden Hazard and Edinson Cavani.

The club would not confirm they have had a £32.4m bid for the Brazilian Lucas Moura turned down by Sao Paulo.