Fernando Torres secures guarantee to be new leader of Chelsea's strike force

 

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 Torres' post-Champions League final outburst about his recent unhappiness – the £50m man would be at the centre of the Chelsea team.

Ron Gourlay said there was no problem with Torres, who gave an outspoken interview in the aftermath of Saturday's final, saying he would have to consider his future in the light of being left out of the team to start the game against Bayern Munich. He described his omission as the "biggest disappointment" of his life and his recent struggles at Chelsea as the "worst in my career".

Chelsea will not take any action against the player, and it was clear from Gourlay's words that the new manager of the club – whether it is Roberto Di Matteo or someone else – will be expected to accommodate Torres in his team. With Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou both leaving the club, there will be no little 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, there was no negativity. None at all. In fact, it was much the opposite.

"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 and Fernando Torres will score goals for Chelsea. I'm not worried at all. We've just won the Champions League and Fernando Torres played his part in that.

"He was disappointed that he didn't play, and I think that led to the rest. Things are fine. There is no problem. Fernando is a fantastic player and an asset to the football club and we have no problems at all. It's not all about goals. It's not just about the individual scoring goals, his teamwork... he is a very, very important player. And I think you will see Fernando Torres score many goals for Chelsea."

Asked whether that ruled out Chelsea 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.

On the question of Di Matteo's future and the appointment of a new manager, Gourlay said that the decision would be made at a board meeting that would take place in the next few weeks and attended by Roman Abramovich. While Abramovich's voice is clearly the most important, Gourlay said it was his belief the Russian billionaire owner would also take soundings from those at the club.

"The delay is just the timeframe of the board of directors and everyone getting together," he said. "It [the decision] is the [responsibility of] the owner and the board of directors. We are able to communicate with the boss [Abramovich] all the time. It's not just a matter of when he is in town. Obviously, he likes to understand what's going on in his football club, he likes to be part of the process, on all sides of the business. So there is a continuous communication there."

As for the clamour from some in the dressing room to give Di Matteo the job, Gourlay said it would not have an impact on the thinking of the club. "We do listen, but at the end of the day it won't force us to rush into a decision. We have to get it right. The players will always have a view, but at the end of the day it will be the owners and the board of directors that will decide the best way forward."

There is a strong belief that Chelsea's next set of accounts will be their best yet with losses dramatically reduced to a point where they are close to breaking even. "It's phenomenal to win this [Champions League], but we're now looking to win more. Some clubs have got three or four stars on their shirts, we have one. The ambition is to keep moving things forward. I said two in five years when I took over the role. That hasn't changed."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam