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Premier, Champions League quotas leave Mourinho desperate to sell Torres

Jul 28, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT

Torres Getty Images

One of the worst transfers in soccer history has gone from luxury to albatross for Chelsea, who will face a dilemma if they can’t offload Fernando Torres. If the Spanish striker can’t be sold this summer, manager José Mourinho may end up over his non-homegrown player quotas, forcing the Blues to leave the Spanish international unregistered or sell one of their other stars.

According to The Telegraph, the situation may force Chelsea’s hand regarding Petr Cech, who could be expendable with the return of Thibaut Courtois. Whether it’s him, John Obi Mikel, or Torres, the Blues need to sell a non-homegrown player for their first team quote to adhere to Premier and Champions League limits. Through Mourinho wants to keep both goalkeepers, the lack of a market for either Torres or Mikel may force Chelsea to consider Paris Saint-Germain’s offer for Cech.

From The Telegraph:

Jose Mourinho has admitted that he will have to get rid of one of his foreign players as Chelsea desperately try to find a buyer for Fernando Torres …

Clubs can only name 17 foreign players over the age of 21 in their official 25-man squads and Chelsea have 18 overseas stars who are realistically vying for those places.

Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, wants to offload £50 million flop Torres, but clubs are being put off by the £20 million asking price and the Spaniard’s £175,000-a-week wages.

And that’s the problem. Even if Chelsea was willing to give Torres away, the striker’s ridiculous wage package means most teams wouldn’t be interested. Atlético Madrid, having a special history with the player, as well as free-spending Monaco are reportedly options, but Atleti will need a major financial compromise to bring back one of their favorite sons. Monaco’s only interest is as a backup plan should Radamel Falcao depart.

[RELATED: Didier Drogba officially rejoins Jose Mourinho at Chelsea]

“From the group you are expecting us to have as a squad, I have to send one away because we have one extra foreign player,” Mourinho explained “So from all these players, if you think all of them have to stay, you are wrong. One of them has to go.”

Perhaps. Chelsea can also just shelve Torres. Just because you have a player doesn’t mean you have to register him, and while it seems ridiculous to take a player that’s making around $15 million per year and let him collect dust, it would be even more inane to chase a mistake with a mistake. Why get rid of a useful player just because you’re unwilling to leave Torres out?

It’s unlikely to come to that, though. At some point, Chelsea can just give another club enough money to make Torres go away. Or, they can take Paris Saint-Germain’s $17 million, give them Petr Cech, and forget this opulent fantasy of a keeping both the Cech and Courtois.

[RELATED: Petr Cech says he won't back down at Chelsea anytime soon]

That it’s come to this, however, is yet another reminder: Committing over $160 million to Torres — over $80 million in wages on top of the $80 million fee — is one of the worst personnel decisions in soccer history. On a financial level, Chelsea has the means to absorb the cost. Unfortunately for the Blues, England and Europe’s rules are less forgiving.

  1. thedeadlockvictim - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Kind of sad that an English club can’t maintain eight English players on it.

    • mdac1012 - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      The thing is a player doesn’t have to be “English” to be considered homegrown. Cesc Fabergas qualifies as a homegrown player because he was with Arsenal when he was 16 yrs old and spent time in the league.

  2. reformed2012 - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Come on? 2010 WC and 2012 Euro best striker for god sake! Where are the MLS teams where you need them? This s a no brainer for Chicago/Houston/Portland to raise their international profile immediately. $100 million + a DP slot is a chump change for any of these clubs. Heck, MLS should subsidize the purchase!

    • Sgc - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      He was one of Euro 2008’s best strikers. In WC 2010 he was ice cold, and Villa scored all their goals. In Euro 2012, all it took was 3 to be one of the “top scorers.” 2 of Torres’s 3 were in the post-competitive phase of 4-0 blowouts (one was the first of a 4-0 blowout against Ireland).

      • scoochpooch - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:22 PM

        And I think the one against Ireland was basically a giveaway turnover by the defender.

    • dhab1972 - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:21 AM

      Clint Dempsey on the Sounders is most likely, currently, the highest payed player in MLS. At last check, he was making 8 million a year. I don’t know what NYC FC is paying David Villa or what they will by paying Xavi, and I don’t know what Orlando City is paying Kaka, but I do know Portland is not paying a player 15 million a year. I actually don’t think they have a player that is getting over 1 million a year.

  3. burtonjob05 - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    I heard Southampton needed some players….?!!

  4. elgallo2001 - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    MLS!

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