Chelsea play down offer for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres

Liverpool appear to be set for a battle to keep striker Fernando Torres out of the clutches of Chelsea after turning down a bid from the Stamford Bridge club.

The Reds have no intention of parting with one of their prized assets and rejected an offer in the region of £35million from the Barclays Premier League's defending champions.

However, that is no guarantee the Blues will not return with an improved offer and the player's agent is reportedly intimating his client is interested in exploring a possible move.

If that is the case it would be an obvious worry for the Anfield club as the 26-year-old has never previously hinted at leaving - even when rumours were at their peak when he returned to Merseyside last summer as a World Cup winner.

Liverpool will continue to rebuff approaches for the striker as they are determined to build their squad around him in the short to medium term.

Missing out on the Champions League for the second successive season, however, would make things more complicated with players wanting to compete among Europe's elite.

"The player is not for sale," said a club spokesman.

"Chelsea have made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down."

Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti would not be drawn on the move in his press conference ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup clash with Liverpool's local rivals Everton.

The Italian said: "I don't want to speak about this, you will have to ask the club. He is not my player and I have to have respect for Liverpool.

"I am happy because the club is doing a fantastic job in this transfer market. The club is trying to do everything to improve the squad.

"For tomorrow I don't need more strikers. Maybe in the future, I don't know."

As part of their squad-strengthening plans the Reds are still pursuing a deal for Ajax forward Luis Suarez, with the Dutch club's coach Frank de Boer having set a deadline of midnight tonight for an agreement to be reached.

The transfer could be significant as it is seen as a statement of intent by owners Fenway Sports Group - currently negotiating their first transfer window, having taken over in October.

It has been accepted for some time that Torres needs support up front and Suarez would provide that, although the two clubs are way apart in their valuations of the player.

FSG have always insisted their main priority in the transfer window is to sign players who represent the best value and are unwilling to pay over-inflated prices.

However, chairman Tom Werner did accept that money was available to strengthen the squad and they were capable of buying a big-name star if it benefited the club in the long term.

Reports from Holland suggest discussions are ongoing and that Ajax expect an improved bid from Liverpool later today.

De Boer said he is still hopeful of having the Uruguay international, who has been serving a suspension, in his side this weekend although he admitted a bid of around £21million - Liverpool have so far offered something in the region of £12.9million - would probably clinch a deal.

"From the bottom of my heart, I hope on Sunday for our next match with NAC that I can call on him," he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"I think it is a 50-50 chance that Suarez continues (with us).

"They know what we want for Suarez. Luis is gone when they pay that amount. I expect to get a higher bid.

"Liverpool know what they have to pay, if they do it by the weekend then we will have time to take action."

He added in De Telegraaf: "If you compare the 15million euros (£12.9million) Liverpool want to pay for Suarez with other transfers you can imagine that it's far too low for us.

"Luis is our top goalscorer for the last three years and also the man with by far the most assists.

"He was one of the big guys for Uruguay in helping them come third in the World Cup in the summer and he still has a contract with us for two-and-a-half years."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn