Fernando Torres is likely to be a Chelsea player by the time the transfer window closes at 11pm. He’ll cost them a fee believed to be £50m and leaves most Liverpool fans shaking their heads at the manner of his departure.
But the second he becomes an ex-player that’s all he’ll be. A former player. He’s unlikely to become known as a Liverpool legend like Ian Rush or Robbie Fowler, two of his predecessors in that number nine shirt. But he’s not going to be despised the way another former number nine, El-Hadji Diouf, is.
Fans aren’t mourning the loss of Torres. They mourned the loss of what they thought Torres was, or what he could be. They were disappointed to find he thought less of them than they did of him. But now he’s somebody else’s concern. A shrug of the shoulders and we move on.
And how we move on.
Luis Suarez has now completed his £22.8m move from Ajax. Some formalities with paperwork had dragged on longer than expected but tonight the club confirmed their new number seven was signed. It’s fitting he got that shirt from the man who made it so special, and his new manager was clearly looking forward to working with him.
The deal Suarez signed was for five-and-a-half years, it takes him up to the summer of 2016. The £22.8m fee was a club record, but not for long.
One condition of Torres going to Chelsea was that Liverpool were able to bring in a replacement. And at a fee believed to be £35m, Andy Carroll was seen by the club as the ideal replacement. As the transfer window entered its final hour the deal was hinging on him passing his medical. Liverpool’s earlier bids of £25m and £30m had been turned down, but after Carroll put a transfer request in his club couldn’t resist any longer and allowed the Reds to speak to the player.
An attempt to sign Charlie Adam ultimately failed, Blackpool chairman leaving the Scottish midfielder dejected after refusing to accept a bid. Enquiries about Ashley Young never got any further, Aston Villa insisting he wasn’t for sale. Stephen Warnock was another Villa player linked with a move to Anfield, but the proposed loan move never happened.
Paul Konchesky joined Nottingham Forest on an emergency loan until the end of the season, and as a number of fans have pointed out, unlike Torres that means he’s left one European Cup winning club for another. A loan move to Derby County for Danny Ayala fell through after concerns were raised about a hamstring injury; Derby hope to go ahead with the deal next month.
With Ryan Babel sold for around £6m earlier in the month, the Torres sale means Liverpool will have brought around £56m in this window. Carroll’s £35m fee, added to the £22.8m for Suarez, puts the spending up to £57.8m for this first window under FSG control.
A slight profit, but a profit nonetheless. And still plenty of funds to use in the summer. It’s the first time that’s happened in a transfer window since summer 2008. It’s another little sign that the dark days are going, that Liverpool are moving into a new era.
Now to see if we can make a late challenge for fourth place. Maybe Chelsea will be the ones to make way for us.