Thursday 15 December 2011
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas says there is no chance the club would consider selling Spanish striker Fernando Torres in January.
There has been speculation that the 27-year-old might be on his way out of Stamford Bridge after struggling to hold down a regular place since his £50m transfer from Liverpool in January.
Torres has scored only two goals in 11 Barclays Premier League appearances this season, and he hasn't started a League match since the 5-3 defeat at home to Arsenal on 29th October.
"Fernando is not available at any price. He is pushing for a place in the team"
- Andre Villas-Boas
But Villas-Boas says Torres has a future at Chelsea, and he could be handed a regular starting spot when Didier Drogba goes to play in the African Cup of Nations at the beginning of 2012.
"The stories are not true, I'm sorry - Fernando is not available at any price," said Villas-Boas.
"Fernando is pushing for a place in the team and Didier is on a good run at the moment, but we are sure that when Fernando is called up he will respond with the quality he has.
"It is a question of time when we see him back, sooner or later I don't know, but we have to make the best decision for the team.
'We have Daniel Sturridge competing for a place and Romelu Lukaku and Fernando competing when Didier will be away, so hopefully we can make the best decision."
Villas-Boas also responded to reports that Frank Lampard is unhappy about how much time he is spending on the substitutes' bench at the moment.
"People are making great efforts to get into the Chelsea squad and Frank is one of the top five used players," added the Portuguese manager. "Everyone wants to be involved in every game but sometimes it is not possible.
"I treat everybody equally. It's pretty clear everybody wants to play in every single game. Sometimes we make decisions that cannot please everybody, that is the reality of football."