• La Liga

Torres won't rule out Atletico return

ESPN staff
March 20, 2014
Fernando Torres has fallen behind Samuel Eto'o in the Chelsea pecking order this season © Getty Images

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has refused to rule out a return to Atletico Madrid with rumours Jose Mourinho is looking to use him as bait to land Diego Costa in the summer.

Torres, who turned 30 on Thursday and has scored only nine goals for Chelsea this season, has so far failed to shine since his £50 million move to Stamford Bridge from Liverpool in January 2011.

Mourinho has admitted on several occasions he is keen to bring in a new striker and has been linked with a move for Atletico's Costa which could see Torres - who has two years left on his current Chelsea deal - go in the other direction.

Torres joined Atletico's youth system aged 11 in 1995 before progressing to the first-team set-up in 2001 where he scored 82 goals in 214 appearances.

"In football, you never know. You don't know where you're going to be tomorrow, in a week's time or in ten years' time. How can I answer that question?" Torres told Spanish newspaper AS on Thursday when asked about a return to Atletico.

"You never know where life is going to take you. There's nothing to say I'd end up with [Diego] Simeone here or at Atleti. Who could have told me that I was going to coincide with Rafa Benítez at two different English clubs?"

Torres also admitted he owes former team-mate and current Atletico coach Simeone for helping him develop early on in his career.

"He helped me a lot. He taught me how to be a captain; he taught me a lot in the seasons we played together at Atleti," Torres added.

"I always want to work with people I admire. I admired Rafa Benítez from the outside, and I had the chance to work with him. The same goes for Jose Mourinho or Luis Aragones.

"I've been lucky enough to work with people who, when you saw them from the outside, you said: 'What have they got, what's their secret, why do all the teams they coach work well…?' Simeone is like [Pep] Guardiola or like other coaches, who you'd like to go and see how they coach and learn."

Torres also admits he hasn't given up hope of making Spain's World Cup squad. insisting he can play his way into Vicente del Bosque's plans.

With 35 goals in 106 appearances for Spain, Torres faces stiff competition from the likes of Costa and Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo.

"The World Cup is not just any tournament," Torres told AS. "Those who go must be the best prepared and that's why you have a coach who picks the squad.

"I will work, which is the only thing I know how to do, and the final part of the season is very important. We are up there in the league, through to the next round of the Champions League and it could be a great end to the season.

"The more important matches you play and the more things you are fighting for the greater the demands and that is when I have performed best. The World Cup is just around the corner and those who are in the best form will be the ones to go."

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