Chelsea Snag Fernando Torres

Chelsea have finally succeeded in landing Fernando Torres after several failed attempts, acquiring the prized Spanish striker from Liverpool via the transfer window for a new British record of around $79.5 million, ESPN reported Monday.

Liverpool announced the departure of the young striker late Monday just before the window closed, saying that they have approved Torres’ transfer to Stamford Bridge. “Liverpool Football Club tonight confirmed they have agreed a fee with Chelsea for the sale of Fernando Torres,” the Reds said in a statement.

Chelsea had been in hot pursuit of Torres since Thursday, when they offered Liverpool $56 million for the services of the Spanish international. The Anfield side were hesitant to release Torres, even insisting as late as early Monday that the striker was not for sale.

Torres also confirmed his move to London through his official Web site. “The striker has signed for the reigning Premier League and FA Cup champions for five and a half seasons,” a statement on Torres’ Web site read. “I am very happy with my transfer to Chelsea and I am looking forward very much to helping my new team-mates this season and for many years to come,” Torres said according to SkySports.

The Blues are hoping to give chase one last time to Premier League leaders Manchester United with the acquisition of Torres. Chelsea are currently running fourth on the table, ten points behind United.