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Premier League

Transfer news: Jose Mourinho insists that Fernando Torres is in his Chelsea plans despite Wayne Rooney talk

Blues are expected to launch another bid for Rooney next week but Mourinho says Torres remains central to his plans at Stamford Bridge

Despite his interest in signing Wayne Rooney, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said that Fernando Torres remains central to his plans ahead of the new season.

Torres is yet to repay his £50m price tag that Chelsea paid for him in January 2011, although he showed some improvement under former boss Rafael Benitez last season, scoring in the Europa League final triumph.

He finished the campaign with 23 goals in 75 appearances, although a number of chances went begging that we became so accustomed to seeing the Spaniard tuck away in the past.

With Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku challenging Torres for a starting berth – after the latter returned from a hugely successful loan deal with West Brom – Torres will likely have to up his game if he wishes to maintain his place in the starting XI, and that’s without the addition of the Manchester United striker, who the Blues are expected to make another bid for next week.

But Mourinho plans to keep faith with the 2012 European Championship and Confederations Cup golden boot winner, and insists the rest of the team must also improve to learn how to provide him with the best service to provide goal-scoring chances.

"I don't know if it's confidence," the Portuguese told several national newspapers. "I feel the guy is highly motivated, he works very hard.

"I think some of the work we do with the team in terms of attack suits his qualities. We are here to support him.

"Usually when he is clear, he scores that goal - but he has missed (recently). We know that this is Torres' game. When we see Torres with his back to goal, surrounded by two or three opponents, we know that he is not going to produce a piece of magic.

"We want the team not to learn how to play with him, but to improve how to play with him. He is working very hard in training, we are happy with him.

"His game is impossible to remodel. But we want to adapt the team and teach the team how to use his best qualities.

"He is not a kid any more, he is at an age where it is difficult to change his play. He is what he is and he is very good with the qualities he's got. So we need to learn and support his game."

Mourinho was speaking ahead of tomorrow’s International Champions Cup semi-final with AC Milan in New York, with the final set to take place on Wednesday in Miami against either Everton or Real Madrid.