Football

Torres set for Atletico reunion

Former Spain international striker Fernando Torres (above) is set to return to Atletico Madrid, the club where he began his career.

Reports from England and Spain say that La Liga champions Atletico have reached agreement with Chelsea, the club who own him, over a loan deal until the end of June 2016.

The complicated deal sees Torres leave AC Milan, where he has been on loan since the start of the current campaign, with Atletico striker Cerci almost certainly moving in the other direction, according to reports in Spain.

The 30-year-old Torres is from the town of Fuenlabrada in the south of Madrid and has always been an Atletico fan.

He left the club to join Liverpool in 2007 and netted 81 goals in 142 league appearances for the Reds.

He subsequently joined Chelsea for £50 million ($103m) in 2011, but never repeated his feats, netting just 45 times for the Blues in 
172 games.

Jose Mourinho then allowed him to move to Milan on a two-year loan deal in the summer, but he has found the back of the net just once for the Serie A club.

This has prompted speculation that Milan are keen to offload the striker and Sky Sports' Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague believes a deal for the Spaniard to return to the Vicente Calderon has now been done.

"Our understanding is that Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan have reached an agreement for Fernando Torres to go back to Atletico Madrid," said Balague on Christmas Day.

"It was all discussed, negotiated and agreed yesterday. It seems it is all confirmed. We have not received details from the club, but (Atletico manager Diego) Simeone asked for Torres three weeks ago.

"In fact, he wanted him in the summer, but there was a transfer fee to be paid at that time that Atletico Madrid could not afford.

"The suggestion is that Chelsea have let him go for free but, in any case, it seems confirmed that Torres returns home.

MOST IMPORTANT

"Torres needs to rediscover his love for football. That's the most important thing. He did very well as we all remember at Liverpool but, at Chelsea, we saw a different Torres.

"His record was okay was under previous managers to Rafa Benitez. With Benitez, he did well, but it became very clear that Jose Mourinho did not have him in his plans.

"After that, AC Milan were obviously a great alternative for both the club and himself, but it just did not work for either and returning home for me is a way for him to rediscover his love for football.

"He's wanted by the manager (Simeone) and that is another thing that has not happened in recent years.

"So, all in all, I think it is good for Torres and good for Atletico Madrid." 
- Wire Services.