Fernando Torres is closing in on a surprise move to China and could make his final appearance for Atletico Madrid in Sunday night’s La Liga clash with Sevilla.
The Spaniard’s first-team opportunities have been limited by the availability of Diego Costa, who was ineligible prior to January, while Kevin Gameiro has frequently been preferred off the bench.
And now Spanish newspaper ABC report that Chinese club Dalian Yifang are working furiously to tie up a deal for Torres before the Chinese transfer window closes in three days.
They were already working on a deal to sign Belgian winger Yannick Carrasco, but were given cause to pursue Torres after Diego Simeone suggested he was happy to let the veteran striker leave.
During a press conference this week, Simeone was asked: ‘Would you be willing to do everything to make sure that Fernando Torres returns next season?’ But the Atletico boss bluntly replied: ‘No.’
That prompted Dalian Yifang to make their move, though Torres is faced with the dilemma of trying to win the title with his boyhood club or accepting a massive payday in China. If he chooses the later, he could make his final appearance for Atletico in Sunday’s away trip to Sevilla.
Simeone’s men need to win to keep the pressure on La Liga leaders Barcelona, who are 10 points ahead but have played a game more. And Torres is expected to be named on the bench against Sevilla despite a potential move to China being on his mind, with Costa and Antoine Griezmann continuing up front together.