Fernando Torres: 'Does he have a future? Yes' - Jose Mourinho denies striker will be offloaded this summer

The Chelsea manager bemoaned his lack of 'real strikers' after the midweek defeat to PSG as he opted to use Torres from the bench

Jose Mourinho has insisted Fernando Torres has a future at Chelsea but the Blues boss wants more from the much-maligned striker.

World Cup-winning Torres, a British record £50million buy from Liverpool in January 2011, was overlooked for a striker-less starting XI for Wednesday's loss at Paris St Germain as Mourinho finally appeared to lose patience with the Spaniard.

Torres, who signed a five-and-a-half-year deal on his deadline day arrival from Anfield, has scored 44 goals in 164 appearances for the Blues, including nine in 33 games this term.

"Does he have a future? Yes, he has," Mourinho said.

"He is under contract, he's a good professional. He works hard for the team, he brings positive things to the team.

"Obviously, we want him to score more goals. Obviously, he wants to score more goals. It's not just me that wants.

"People that give everything they have you never can blame and you never can complain.

"When he's on the pitch he tries to do his best. Obviously we want more. Obviously.

"He's the first one that wants more, but he's the kind of player I respect, he deserves to be respected and there's nothing more you can say about it."

In contrast to Mourinho's first spell, when owner Roman Abramovich bank-rolled an extravagant spending spree, Chelsea are endeavouring to comply with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations to live within their means.

Yet it is possible Chelsea will recruit the striker Mourinho covets this summer - with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa among those linked - which comes at a cost.

 

January sales of Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne allowed Mourinho to sign Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, but one large outlay can be anticipated this summer.

Asked if the Blues can spend £50m on one player, Mourinho said: "I think Chelsea can do that.

"I think Chelsea can't do that with four or five players and bring in the investment for £200m or £250m, but Chelsea can do that with one player.

"That is the work Chelsea is doing and I think that's possible for Chelsea, yes."

Five Chelsea managers - Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafael Benitez and now Mourinho - have struggled with the Torres conundrum.

"During his period in the club he had moments and some of them important moments," Mourinho said.

"Inspite of his not scoring a lot during his career at Chelsea, he always has these moments.

"I believe in these moments till the end of the season."

Torres could start on Saturday in the continued absence of Samuel Eto'o, who misses a third straight match with a hamstring injury.

Eto'o leads Chelsea's strikers in scoring with 11 goals this term, but Demba Ba has been used sparingly.

Romelu Lukaku was allowed to leave for Everton on a season-long loan at the start of the season and has scored regularly.

Mourinho would not be drawn on reports linking the Belgian with a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.

"I don't think it's the time to speak about it," Mourinho said.

"He is a Chelsea player, but at the same time he is also an Everton player till the end of the season and we want to respect that.

"That loan is working well for the three. Working well for Everton, working well for Lukaku and working well for Chelsea."

Chelsea have not been approached about Lukaku.

"Showing their interest to you (the media), not to us," Mourinho said.

Mourinho, who insisted Chelsea's best players would not be sold this summer with PSG among those courting Oscar and Eden Hazard, conceded defeat in the Premier League title race after last Saturday's loss at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea enter this weekend's fixtures two points behind leaders Liverpool and two ahead of Manchester City, who have two games in hand. Both sides have far superior goal differences.

Mourinho is determined to finish the season strongly and is pleased Chelsea have stayed in contention this term after finishing 25 and 14 points adrift in the last two campaigns.

"We were always in a virtual position and I always said we don't depend on us," Mourinho said.

"What I like is the fact that with such a difference in goals, the difference in points is not so big.

"We are there, two points behind Liverpool and I don't know two, three, four behind Man City.

"Even with some difficulties we could improve and we can start next season thinking we can do even better."

Ramires' suspension concludes against Stoke, while Ashley Cole is available again following a knee injury and Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah are back after being ineligible against PSG.

Chelsea are bidding to respond from successive defeats against a Stoke side who beat them in December.

Mourinho said: "We lost because we made a couple of unbelievable mistakes. One of the not many matches where we made defensive mistakes.

"A difficult opponent."

PA

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