Barcelona are now the favourites with bwin to sign Chelsea forward Fernando Torres after reports today suggested that the Catalans were about to rival Napoli for the signature of the former Liverpool forward.
Despite hitting 22 goals last season – including the opening goal of Chelsea’s 2-1 Europa League final victory against Benfica in Amsterdam – Torres has struggled to make the expected impact at Stamford Bridge following his record £50 million move from Liverpool in January 2011 and has been linked with a move away this summer.
But up until today, few thought that Barcelona were among his suitors.
Yet reports this morning suggested that the La Liga champions are ready to offer Chelsea £17 million to bring the Spaniard back to his homeland, where he has not played since leaving his boyhood club Atletico Madrid in 2007.
The news has made bwin install Barcelona as the favourites to be Torres’ next club this summer, with the bookmakers offering 3/1 that he joins Lionel Messi and company and the Camp Nou.
Just behind in the betting are Napoli, who have just appointed Torres’ former manager at both Liverpool and Chelsea, Rafael Benitez.
It has been suggested that Torres could be used as a makeweight in any deal that would take Edinson Cavani in the opposite direction, and bwin go 4/1 that the 29-year-old teams up with his ex-boss for a third time.
Former club Atletico Madrid are 7/1 to re-sign the man who was their club captain at just 17, while Paris Saint-Germain are 18/1 to take Torres to Ligue 1.
A sensational return to Liverpool, who may need a striker should Luis Suarez move on, is 33/1, the same price as Torres swapping Chelsea for north London with either Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur.
It is 13/20 that Torres is still at Stamford Bridge on September 1st.