In a last-minute surprise transfer for the Premier league, Chelsea paid 80 million dollars to sign Liverpool star striker Fernando Torres before the January transfer window ended on Monday at midnight.
AFP - Chelsea signed Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool on Monday in a 50 million pounds (80 million dollars) deal that shattered the British transfer record.
Torres has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League champions, who announced the deal on their website 35 minutes after the official close of the January transfer window.
"Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Fernando Torres on a five-and-a-half year contract," a statement on the Blues' website announced.
The 26-year-old's transfer smashed the previous British record set less than an hour earlier when Liverpool paid Newcastle 35 million pounds (56 million dollars) to sign England striker Andy Carroll as Torres's replacement.
Torres, who has won the World Cup and European Championships with Spain, had asked to leave Liverpool on Friday when news of Chelsea's first bid for the striker became public knowledge.
Liverpool rejected that request, but Blues owner Roman Abramovich was determined to sign the former Atletico Madrid star and the Anfield club eventually accepted Chelsea's huge offer after securing Carroll's signature.
Torres, who scored seven times in seven appearances against Chelsea, was keen to leave Liverpool after the club slumped out of the Champions League last season and then struggled in the first half of this campaign.
"I am very happy with my transfer to Chelsea and I am looking forward very much to helping my new team-mates this season and for many years to come," Torres told Chelsea's website.
"Having played against Chelsea many times since coming to England, and in some very big games I will never forget, I know there are many great players here and I will work hard to win a place in the team.
"I hope I can score some important goals for the supporters to enjoy this season."
Torres scored 65 goals in 102 league appearances for Liverpool and 81 in 142 games in all competitions.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck added: "This is a very significant day for Chelsea, capturing one of the best players in the world with his peak years ahead of him.
"We have long admired the talents of a player who is a proven goalscorer in English football and Fernando's arrival is a sign of our continuing high ambitions."
Date created : 2011-02-01