Reds reject bid for Torres
Liverpool - Liverpool have turned down an audacious 35-million-pound bid by Chelsea for striker Fernando Torres, several British media reports said on Friday.
Chelsea, who are believed to have tabled a similar bid for the player last summer, have been firmly rebuffed by Liverpool, whose new owners are anxious to hold on to their star attacker, reports said.
"Chelsea have made a bid for Fernando which has been turned down," a Liverpool spokesman was quoted as saying by the Times.
"The player is not for sale."
Torres, 26, is under contract at Liverpool until 2013. However he is widely reported to have a buy-out clause in his deal which will allow him to leave if another team matches his 50 million pound valuation.
The clause was believed to have been inserted as a concession to Torres after Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League last season amid uncertainty over the club's ownership.
The fact that Torres would be eligible for Chelsea's Champions League campaign this season may persuade the English double-winners to increase their bid to the 50 million pound mark.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is expected to overhaul Chelsea's ageing squad, where a number of stalwarts such as Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry are nearing the end of their careers at Stamford Bridge.
After a difficult start to the season, Torres appears to have been revitalised under new Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, netting three goals in his last four appearances for the Reds.
Liverpool have reportedly tabled a bid for Ajax striker Luis Suarez as they attempt to strengthen their attacking options.