Sources have told ESPN FC that AC Milan are considering a move for Chelsea's Fernando Torres, as the Spanish striker was dropped from the squad for Saturday's home game against Leicester City.
That decision from manager Jose Mourinho has fuelled speculation that the striker is finally on the brink of a move away from Stamford Bridge, but that there have not yet been anything like advanced negotiations for the 30-year-old. Indeed, Torres is merely one of the main targets on a list that also includes Mattia Destro of Roma, Manchester United's Javier Hernandez and Tottenham's Roberto Soldado.
Milan are seeking a striker after agreeing a deal to sell Mario Balotelli to Liverpool. Sources stated that Balotelli's exit was primarily because of the Italian club's desire to free up cash, and allow new manager Filippo Inzaghi to bring in players that might be more suited to his approach. Torres could represent a cut-price replacement, although his high wages could represent a significant stumbling block for Milan.
If any move were to take place, those figures would likely have to come down. On the other side, Stamford Bridge sources state that Chelsea are open to the sale of Torres for two reasons: firstly, his disappointing performance level since joining for a record 50 million pounds back in January 2011, but also that Mourinho needs to cut the number of foreign players in his squad by one, and is understood to still be considering an upgrade on the Spaniard in the forward positions.
Chelsea representatives have maintained contact with Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani thoughout the summer. For any such deal with a new forward to happen, however, Chelsea would also have to sell first.
It is believed that Petr Cech could yet leave as he is replaced by Thibaut Courtois in goal, despite Mourinho's protestations that he wants the club legend to stay. Crucially, the Chelsea manager has not definitively ruled out a move.