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
News
i100
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
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

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices