Atletico fans revolt as Torres move nears
Atletico Madrid are facing a fans' revolt over the likely sale of striker Fernando Torres to Liverpool.
Talks between the two clubs over a potential £25million move for the Spanish international have taken place between officials.
But the Madrid club are facing a backlash from their own supporters, unhappy at the prospect of their idol being sold to the Champions League finalists.
Atletico fans have staged a protest in a Madrid square against the sale of the 23 year-old, a youth product of the club who has constantly professed his love for the team he has supported since childhood.
That pressure is likely to delay any deal at least until the player returns from holiday on July 10.
And Atletico will now be even more determined to extract every last penny from Liverpool, so that they can sell the deal to their fans as having got best possible financial outcome.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has insisted no official bid has been made by Liverpool and the Merseysiders may now have to wait for Torres to return to pre-season training in the hope he will force the issue then by declaring that he wants to move to Anfield.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez's own agent is believed to be attempting to broker the deal, with the Anfield chief needing to produce some genuine movement in his transfer deals before the team return to training at the beginning of July, ahead of their first pre-season friendly at Wrexham on July 7.
Officials also say they are unaware of any clause in Torres' contract entitling the player to 10% of any transfer fee, despite reports to the contrary.
As well as Torres, it is believed that Benitez's has other targets include PSV striker Arouna Kone, Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Diego Milito at Real Zaragoza.
Liverpool's first group of players report back to Melwood tomorrow for pre-season training.
Missing, however, will be Emiliano Insua and new signing Lucas Leiva, who take part in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup which opens in Canada this weekend.
Insua is in the Argentina squad, while summer signing Leiva is an integral member of Brazil's team. The 24-nation tournament runs from Saturday until July 22.
Argentina are defending their crown and kick-off their campaign on Saturday against the Czech Republic in Ottawa. Brazil's tournament starts five hours earlier against Poland in Montreal.