Chelsea are contemplating a £24m bid for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to Spanish newspaper AS. The Blues are believed to be on the lookout for new strikers after transferring 23-year-old England international Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool.
The European champions are likely to announce the signing of Newcastle United striker Demba Ba, after activating the £7m release clause in the Senegal international's contract. However, a move for Argentine international Higuain is likely to be pushed through as well, as the Stamford Bridge club attempts to rebuild an attack left a little toothless following the summer departure of Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba.
Torres' £50m transfer to London from Liverpool in 2011 has been largely a disappointment for both club and player, with the once feared World Cup-winning striker a shadow of his former self. There has been some resurgence under interim manager Rafael Benitez (who managed him during his time at Anfield) but even so, his return of seven Premier League goals in 20 appearances is far less than Manchester United striker Robin van Persie's haul of 16 in as many games.
Higuain, meanwhile, has been a consistent source of goals for the Spanish champions. The 25 year old South American has been injured in recent weeks but has managed an impressive return of seven goals and two assists in 10 La Liga appearances this season. Overall, the former River Plate youngster has 98 goals in 182 league appearances in one of the most demanding leagues in Europe.
Chelsea have been previously linked with a move for Higuain, following admissions from the player he wanted more regular first team action. However, those comments were made at the end of last season and, since then, Higuain and France striker Karim Benzema have settled into what appears to be a comfortable system of rotation.
The Blues have also been linked to Colombian international Radamel Falcao and Spaniard David Villa. However, the South American has committed himself to Atletico Madrid till the end of the season and the Catalans have ruled out a transfer for the former Valencia striker. The club have also been linked to Andre Schurrle of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.
Benayoun Back from Loan
Meanwhile, Israeli international Yossi Benayoun has returned from his loan spell at West Ham. The former Arsenal and Liverpool winger made six appearances for the Hammers this season. He spent part of last season on loan at the Emirates, where he scored four goals in 19 league appearances.