Chelsea’s title chances boosted as Torres asks to leave Liverpool

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Chelsea’s ambitious attempts to sign Fernando Torres could yet meet a successful conclusion after the Spanish striker stunned Liverpool by submitting a written transfer request on Friday evening.

Torres has remained a fan favourite at Anfield despite a disappointing start to the season but speculation that his poor form was linked with a lack of enthusiasm and desire to leave were confirmed by the Reds, who are refusing to let him leave.

A club statement said: “Fernando Torres tonight submitted a written transfer request, which has been rejected by Liverpool. Fernando is under a long-term contract and the club expects him to honour the commitment he made to Liverpool FC and its supporters when he signed the agreement.”

If Chelsea’s opening offer for the 26-year-old was in the £35-£40 million range as has been reported though, Liverpool could yet decide that the best option is to cash in, which would be great news for the Blues’ chances of retaining the title, which are currently rated at 7/1.

Torres has already struck nine times in 22 Premier League starts this season despite constant criticism of his form and has fired 65 times in 91 since moving to Merseyside in 2007 and has netted 14 or more in every campaign.

He’s not yet completely out of top goalscorer contention either, with odds of 20/1 offered on him closing the ten-goal deficit to Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov.

If he stays at Liverpool then the likely arrival of Ajax attacker Luis Suarez should improve his prospects, as it did Diego Forlan’s at the World Cup, while linking up with Didier Drogba at Chelsea has even greater potential, not least because the reigning top goalscorer has provided nine assists so far.

A £25 stake on Torres topping the scoring charts would provide a £500 profit. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.