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Chelsea edge closer to Torres deal

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay is waiting at the club's Cobham training ground for the arrival of Fernando Torres in order to complete a deal worth £80 million in transfer fee and wages.

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Chelsea will pay £45 million cash with a large chunk up front, plus a basic salary of £200,000-a-week - plus bonuses - which will almost double Torres' current £110,000-a-week deal at Liverpool.

A five-year contract with signing-on fee would be worth £35 million - bringing the overall investment to a staggering £80 million.

A deal in principle has already been hammered out in advance of the 11pm GMT transfer deadline, but the final hurdle is Liverpool finding a replacement, which seems likely to be found with the £35 million signing of Andy Carroll, to add to Luiz Suarez, whose £22 million deal is all but done too.

Liverpool's new owners have pledged all the £45 million cash from the transfer to Kenny Dalglish to spend in bringing in at least two or even three new signings to cushion the blow of losing Torres.

Abramovich has his own private jet on standby to take Torres from the Liverpool training ground in Melwood to Cobham as soon as Liverpool give the green light to the transfer.

The Liverpool owners have been stunned to discover that Chelsea might think their asking prices of £50 million is far too much, but Roman Abramovich has now sanctioned a bid of £45 million. There have been four failed attempts in the last week to sign the player, including an exchange deal involving Daniel Sturridge.

Liverpool, though, were not keen on the youngster and, while they would have taken back Nicolas Anelka, the Frenchman declined to return to Anfield.

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