Chelsea are preparing to make a third bid for Fernando Torres following the news that Liverpool rejected a transfer request from the Spanish striker on Friday night.
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It is understood that having failed with offers of £28 million and £32 million, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to sanction a bid of £35 million plus the £5 million-rated Daniel Sturridge in order to bring Torres to Stamford Bridge.
That offer would represent a British transfer record, but it remains to be seen whether it would be enough to convince Liverpool to sell the striker, who has scored 65 goals in 102 Premier League games for the club since his move from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2007.
Torres has made his own perspective clear having shocked the club's fans by submitting a written transfer request on Friday. Liverpool subsequently announced that the request had been denied as manager Kenny Dalglish is determined to retain the services of the Spain international.
However, it is understood that Torres is desperate to play Champions League football - a scenario that looks deeply unlikely at Liverpool for next season, even if the club are on the brink of signing Ajax forward Luis Suarez for £22.8 million.
Chelsea have left it late in the transfer window to secure Torres but hope to sign the striker prior to the deadline closing on Monday night at 2300 GMT.
The Blues are also considering whether to increase their offer for Benfica defender David Luiz to £25 million after seeing talks collapse with the Portuguese club on Friday.
It is understood Abramovich has been advised to complete the two transfers in January, rather than the summer, in order to make it easier for Chelsea to comply with UEFA's incoming Financial Fair Play regulations.
A source told ESPNsoccernet: "The snag over Luiz for example has been quite small, but Abramovich has been told that he must spend now because if he wants to keep within the new rules, it will be more difficult in the summer.
"January is not normally the time when the big clubs recruit in this way, but it is an exception because of what is coming up in the summer."