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The Mirror reports Chelsea have targetted Brazilian forward Taison as the man to replace Spanish striker Fernando Torres with, if the latter fails to improve within the deadline set by new boss Rafael Benitez.
Torres, a £50m signing from rivals Liverpool, has been in abysmal form since his transfer from Anfield and his fortunes do not seem to have changed since the appointment of compatriot Benitez. The ex-Liverpool, Valencia and Inter Milan boss was hired as an interim manager by Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, following the sacking of Italian manager Roberto Di Matteo.
Benitez's appointment was expected to galvanise Torres, for it was the former Real Madrid youth coach who brought the Spaniard to the Premier League and established him as one of English top flight's most feared forwards.
However, even Benitez, it seems, has failed to shake the one-time first choice striker for Spain from his slump. Torres has started both of the Blues' games in Benitez's reign so far but has neither scored nor assisted nor even registered a shot on target. Publicly, Benitez remains confident Torres will be back to his best but reports say the club will spend £10m in the January window to sign Metalist Kharkiv star Taison.
Torres, for now, remains the only senior striker at Stamford Bridge, with young England international Daniel Sturridge the only alternative for Benitez. However, with news the club will offload Sturridge in January, Torres will either have to drastically and immediately improve... or come to terms with the fact his Blues career is over.
Chelsea have also been linked with Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen's German forward Andre Schurrle and Colombian star Radamel Falcao Garcia. There is also the possibility, given Chelsea's strong interest in Falcao, that a swap might be arranged, with Torres returning to Spain and his former club while Falcao moves to the Premier League.
Taison has come on to the radar of top European clubs after an impressive performance in a group stage Europa League match against Norwegian side Rosenburg. The 24 year old forward transferred to Ukrainian club Kharkiv in 2010, after three years with Internacional in the Brazilian league.