Atletico Madrid must decide Fernando Torres future now - agent
Fernando Torres has offers from eight clubs for next season if he does not remain at Atletico Madrid, according to one of his representatives.
Torres is currently on loan at Atletico from AC Milan but the 18-month agreement is due to expire at the end of the season and the Madrid club had a decision pending about his future.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
Atletico could move to make the agreement permanent before the close of the January window to ensure he remains on the books even if the club has to serve a FIFA ban on registering new players in the summer.
However, it is not yet clear whether Atletico want to retain the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker.
On Thursday, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said the club would make a decision soon.
"The olive is the tree for peace and we have peace in our club, inside as well as outside," Cerezo told AS. "The coaches are working on the topic of Fernando Torres and they will be the ones who will decide his future in the coming days."
Last week, Atletico coach Diego Simeone said he had not decided yet about 31-year-old's future for 2016, but added that decisions were made with accomplishments in mind.
"We are taking that day by day, match by match," the Argentine coach said recently when asked about a permanent deal for Torres, who has scored just twice in the league so far this season. "As you can imagine, I can't think of anything more than what is generated based upon performance. This is performance-based. Our job, yours, that of the football players, is clear and we base it always upon performance when looking at the future for everyone."
The FIFA ban means that Atletico can sign but not register players after the close of this current transfer window on Jan. 31 and the sanctions prohibit them from registering players over the following two transfer windows.
Atleti are appealing the decision but if they want to ensure they are able to make the Torres deal permanent, they must do it by the end of the month.
Jose Antonio Martin "Peton," who works for Torres' representatives Bahia Internacional, told Cadena Cope that the player has alternative options.
"Fernando and Simeone should sit down and talk about it," Martin told Spain's Cadena Cope. "The fans of Madrid don't want Torres to be told no continually. He has an offer that would make him the best-paid in the world. There are nuances. It all depends upon the will of the club. The feeling I get is this is something that must be resolved, not between [club chief Miguel Angel] Gil Marin or [technical director] Andrea Berta, but rather between Simeone and Torres, who are friends.
"He must either tell him [Torres], 'I am counting on you or I am not counting on you.' The fans want his contract renewed and it is something that can't be denied."
Martin said the offers for the striker are from "China and from other leagues, from different places in the world."
After starting the season reasonably well, Torres has not found the back of the net for three months. His last goal came in the 2-0 victory away to Eibar on Sept. 16, and the club legend is stuck one goal short of the 100-goal milestone.
"He is one of the three most important home-grown players in Atletico history, the first being Enrique Collar," Martin said. "Maybe he is the one who has achieved the most, but even if he isn't the most important player to have come out of the club, he is one of Atletico's best forwards.
"I don't consider [Antoine] Griezmann a centre-forward, he is something else. For me [Torres] is the best forward Atletico Madrid has. He is the one who creates, he builds chances even though he is not right in the face of the goal. The rest of them can't do that."
Regarding the appeal of the FIFA ban, Cerezo said: "We are continuing to work on it and we must present it before Monday. I think the sanction is unjust and so are the consequences."
Atletico face Sevilla on Sunday. They lead the league with 47 points from 20 games.