'Situation at Chelsea has changed for Fernando Torres' says striker's management company


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The Independent Football

Fernando Torres is finally being treated in the way he "deserves" at Chelsea, according to the £50m man's management company.

Bahia Internacional's Antonio Sanz echoed the sentiments of Blues striker Salomon Kalou, who this week claimed his own resurgence was down to the faith placed in him by caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo.

Kalou claimed sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas refused to pick him because he had not signed a new contract, and Sanz has suggested Torres was also not handled correctly by the Portuguese.

Spain striker Torres is beginning to show glimpses of the talent that saw Chelsea make him the most expensive player ever transferred between British clubs when they signed him from Liverpool.

He has started four of the Blues' seven matches since Di Matteo took charge, having played second fiddle to Didier Drogba under Villas-Boas.

Sanz told pagineromaniste.com: "With Villas-Boas, he was not considered, but the arrival of Di Matteo on the bench has seen him return to have the trust that he deserves."

Having failed to find the net for five months under Villas-Boas, Torres took just three games to end his miserable run in front of goal following Di Matteo's elevation.

He also maintained his fine record of assists in Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final first leg win at Benfica.

Sanz added: "He played a great match in the Champions League in Lisbon, assisting the winning goal for Kalou."

There is a long way to go before Torres can be said to have been worth the money spent on him, especially as there is still a discernible lack of confidence in front of goal.

While that remains the case, the 28-year-old will continue to be linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge and Sanz hinted how he fared for the rest of the season would influence his longer-term future.

"We'll evaluate his future in the coming months," Sanz said.

"Fernando has another four years on his contract at Chelsea and the situation there has changed for him."

Roma, who were this season bought by an American consortium, and Juventus have been linked with Torres.

Sanz said: "We know the new American project at Roma and the philosophy of manager Luis Enrique, but if Roma want Fernando, they will have to talk with Chelsea.

"The Italian championship is of a good standard, but there are currently no discussions with Roma or Juventus."

Kalou had no doubt Torres would prove a success at Chelsea, saying after Tuesday's game: "That's the second goal that he gave me.

"Against Leicester also, he gave me an assist, so there is a good understanding between us.

"I'm glad he's playing, he's enjoying.

"For me, he's still the striker he used to be and he just has to keep doing the hard work and the best is to come."

Torres' fate could ultimately be decided by who Chelsea recruit as Villas-Boas' permanent successor, as well as who they sign in the transfer market.

Reports today suggest Di Matteo, who has won five and drawn one of his seven games in charge, has impressed owner Roman Abramovich so much that the Russian was considering handing him the reins.

Pep Guardiola is said to be Abramovich's number one target, amid suggestions soundings have been taken, but luring the Barcelona boss away could prove impossible.

It has been claimed Abramovich would not entertain a return for Jose Mourinho, while France manager Laurent Blanc has been touted as a possible alternative.

With Drogba and Kalou looking set to leave this summer, at least one new striker will also be needed to provide competition for Torres.

Porto's Hulk, Atletico Madrid's Radamel Falcao and Newcastle's Demba Ba are all reported targets.

Drogba, meanwhile, is likely to return to lead the line in Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Aston Villa, with Di Matteo set to continue to rotate his squad in a manner that appears to be meeting with their approval.

Defender Branislav Ivanovic remains a doubt with a thigh injury.