MIS-FIRING Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is adamant his future lies at Stamford Bridge, despite the club’s apparent interest in pursuing potential replacements.
The Blues are thought to be admirers of Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao, who have scored 59 goals in 69 games between them for their clubs this season.
By contrast, Torres, signed from Liverpool for £50m in January 2011, has failed to net in the Premier League since December.
However, the 29-year-old, who is set to lead the line against FC Basel in tonight’s Europa League semi-final first leg, insists leaving Chelsea is not on his agenda.
“I have three more years on my contract, so I’m expecting to stay at least three years,” said Torres.
“Every day you learn new things and you change a little bit. The key is to adapt to a new system, new players, a new style of football and that takes some time.
“In my case, it has maybe taken more time than it should. My mind is more open than before and I can see what I have to do to improve.”
Torres is Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez’s only natural attacking option for the Europa League with Demba Ba ineligible having already appeared for former club Newcastle in the competition this season.
Defenders Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill have travelled to Switzerland after recovering from respective hamstring and knee problems, while Torres will continue to play wearing a mask that protects his broken nose, and may have to until the end of the season.
“We will go to the doctors to see if we can play without the mask because it’s not very comfortable,” he said. “It depends on the results. It may be to the end of the season.”
■ Edinson Cavani (Napoli)
30 goals in 37 games
■ Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)
29 goals in 32 games
■ Fernando Torres (Chelsea)
20 goals in 57 games
■ Demba Ba (Chelsea)
Six goals in 18 games