Fernando Torres will join AC Milan on a permanent deal in January, Chelsea have confirmed.
Torres, 30, joined the Italian giants on a two-year loan deal in the summer but will complete a permanent move that could pave the way for his return to Atletico Madrid.
A statement said: "Fernando Torres is to join AC Milan on a permanent basis. The striker moved to the San Siro on a two-year loan deal in August and on January 5 he will complete a permanent transfer to the Serie A side.
"Chelsea Football Club thanks Fernando for his service during the past four seasons and wishes him the very best for the future."
While Torres won the Champions League, the Europa League and an FA Cup during his three and a half years at Stamford Bridge, he failed to replicate the stunning form which convinced the club to break a then-British record fee of £50m for his services.
In recent days, Atletico Madrid assistant manager German Burgos has revealed the La Liga champions are close to bringing their former captain back to the Vicente Calderon.
"It is on the verge of completion and we are waiting for things to firm up," Burgos was quoted as saying in the Spanish media. "He will be a very important reinforcement for the second half of the season. We will get the best out of him, the same as everyone, and he knows where he is coming to."
Torres has scored just one goal in 10 Serie A appearances this term.
Torres made his debut for Atletico at the age of 17 and was named club captain at 19. After joining Liverpool in 2007 he was regarded as one of the finest strikers in world football but has failed to reach those heights since joining Chelsea in 2011.