Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool in a £50 million deal that shattered the British transfer record.
Torres 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 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.