Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio today confirmed the club will sign Fernando Torres this summer if the Chelsea striker “has the desire” to play at San Siro.
Torres has scored 45 goals for Chelsea since joining for a British-record £50m in 2011. Inter have been following the Spain international for some time, with Ausilio travelling to see him play in Chelsea’s Champions League games against Galatasaray and Atletico Madrid.
Torres still has two years left on his £175,000-a-week contract but the Italian giants are prepared to take him on loan in view of a permanent transfer worth £10m next year.
Inter are desperate to strengthen their squad. They are currently in fifth place in Serie A, 39 points behind champions Juventus.
They have given up hope of acquiring Manchester City frontman Edin Dzeko and Ausilio believes Torres is now their most likely target.
He said: “Yes, he is a player we’re following. Torres’s career speaks for itself — the titles he has won and the teams in which he has played.
“It’s all about whether he has the right motivation and the desire to be part of a new ambitious project.”
For a loan move to take place, it is also likely Chelsea will have to pay some of Torres’s salary but they have done that before with Hernan Crespo and Juan Sebastian Veron.
Chelsea want to trim their squad to make space for new acquisitions, such as Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa.
Atletico have given their first indication they are resigned to losing Costa by expressing an interest in Santos striker Leandro Damiao.
Inter have already shown their ambition by securing Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic on a free transfer and they are also in talks with Chelsea over midfielder John Obi Mikel.
Chelsea have failed to win a trophy this season for the first time in three years but Torres still feels the campaign should be regarded as a success.
The club’s title challenge officially ended with Manchester City’s win against Aston Villa in midweek.
But Torres said: “I think the young players learning to play as group is another positive to take from the season.”