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Thursday, May 24, 2012
Torres given assurances by Chelsea

ESPN staff

Fernando Torres has received backing from Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay as he looks to replace Didier Drogba as the club's main goalscorer.

• Drogba backs Torres to fill void
• Torres seeks talks over future

Torres spoke out following Chelsea's Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, suggesting he had not been given enough chances to prove his worth this season. But with Drogba - who this week also backed the Spaniard to succeed next term - about to exit Stamford Bridge, Gourlay insists Torres has the club's full support.

"We've got Fernando Torres. And Fernando Torres is the man that we will go forward with and Fernando Torres will score us the goals," Gourlay said. "Have no doubt that Fernando Torres is a world-class centre-forward and Fernando Torres will score goals for Chelsea.

"I'm not worried at all. We've just won the Champions League and Fernando Torres played his part in that. It's not all about goals. It's not just about the individual scoring goals, his teamwork - he is a very, very important player."

Gourlay also stated that if Chelsea look to bring in another striker this summer it will be to support Torres, not replace him.

"We may have two big-name centre-forwards scoring 25-30 goals for us next season and maybe then we will improve on our sixth position in the league," he said.

One player already on the Blues' radar is Lille starlet Eden Hazard. Chelsea, along with Manchester City and United, are in the hunt to sign Hazard, but Gourlay refused to speculate on the club's chances of securing the Belgium international.

"There are a number of targets out there and I'm not going to say whether he is one of not," said Gourlay. "We will identify the targets...and will make every effort possible to make sure they come to Chelsea.

"Hopefully if anyone wants to go to a club and win championships and medals then we have demonstrated we can do that and have done that in the past and we have every intention of continuing along those lines in the future.

"If you remember at the end of last season I said I would not get into player bartering with any other club domestically. And that's still the view because you can't.

"At the end of the day we have financial fair play and other football clubs are in the same situation as us. You have to meet certain criteria and while it differs for some European clubs on the basis of how they generate their revenues, certainly the domestic teams are all audited the same way.

"We know what the challenges are - we will have a valuation on a player and if we can't make that work we will drop out."




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