Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit

The Spain international is on the verge of leaving Stamford Bridge

Fernando Torres has played his last game for Chelsea. Manager Jose Mourinho on Friday confirmed the striker will not start against Everton and that he can leave for Milan – as long as he tells the club he wants to go by Sunday morning.

The Spaniard has agreed a two-year loan deal with Milan, but Mourinho earlier claimed Torres had not yet told him he wanted to go. The Chelsea manager insisted confirmation of any move must come by Sunday to allow him time to sign a replacement.

“Between Saturday and Sunday, we need to know,” Mourinho said. “Obviously we know that agents and Milan [are talking]. A big club like Milan is not doing contacts behind Chelsea’s back. Milan doesn’t behave that way. So obviously we know. But the key moment for me is when the player tells me or my club that he wants to leave, he has an agreement. This situation hasn’t arisen yet.”

Read more: Everton vs Chelsea match preview
Costa in race to be fit for Chelsea
Video: Everton vs Chelsea is 'match of weekend'

Despite that, Mourinho said Torres would not start on Saturday, and could not confirm if he would even be in the squad. “Depends, I don’t know,” he said.

Mourinho claimed Chelsea had “not prepared” a deal for any replacement, although their interest in Roma’s £20m-rated Mattia Destro is well known, and the club may yet consider a move for Queen’s Park Rangers’ Loïc Rémy. Mourinho did say that any new forward would not be English, despite the club’s need to offload at least one foreign player to conform to Premier League and Champions League rules.

“If we have to react to Fernando’s departure, we’ll react by buying a foreign striker because I don’t see an English striker in the market that would come to us, or where his club would let him come to us. If we lose a foreign striker, we need another foreign striker,” he said. “We are not prepared. It’s something new. We have our ideas, we have our contacts. We have to react if that situation happens.”

Although Mourinho would not confirm interest in Destro, he spoke glowingly of the  23-year-old, having managed him at Internazionale between 2008 and 2010.

“Everyone knew at the club that his potential was there to be a top striker. He was unlucky because we had [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and Adriano, then [Samuel] Eto’o, [Diego] Milito… so it was not easy for him to come into the first team,” he said.

Mattia Destro Mattia Destro  

Didier Drogba may well make the first start of his second stint at Chelsea at Goodison Park today, if the club decide not to risk Diego Costa following a midweek muscle injury. The Spaniard was last night passed fit to play.

“Let’s see,” Mourinho said of Drogba. “He’s getting there, step by step. He knows the way we work, the way we play, that the intensity of our work and our game is not the same as he had in the past few years. He knows he needs to get there, but he’s ready to play.”

Chelsea are likely to come up against a striker Mourinho sold this summer in Romelu Lukaku – as well as, potentially, Samuel Eto’o – but scotched any of the comparisons frequently made between the Belgian forward and Drogba.

“I think they are different players,” he said. “Lukaku attacks better the spaces. He’s more a runner than Didier. He can play also from the sides, likes to attack defenders and dribble. He is a different kind of player to Didier.”

Mourinho added that there had been no change in Petr Cech’s situation. Since being replaced by Thibaut Courtois as first-choice goalkeeper, the Czech had been seen as one of the foreign players who might be sold to meet the Premier League requirements. “Nothing,” replied Mourinho to questions over Cech’s future.

It is anticipated that Chelsea could send either Mohamed Salah or Marco van Ginkel out on loan, with the latter possibly going to Milan or to a German club.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

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