Simon Hopper is tipping Southampton to find the net when they host Man United on Saturday…

Fernando Torres has told Liverpool to negotiate a transfer to Chelsea, according to several reports in the British press.

With four days of the winter transfer window remaining, the striker is aware that time is running out but he does not want to miss out on the opportunity to join Chelsea.

<The guardian claims the Spaniard has instructed the Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners, to reach an agreement that is suitable to both player and club.

Chelsea made a bid for Torres during the summer but the striker was told that he would not be able to leave. At the time, Torres sought assurances that he would be able to depart in the future, should an acceptable bid be made and he consider a move necessary.

Torres also wanted assurances over the future of the club when Liverpool were taken over by the new owners. Torres’s camp believes that promises have not been upheld and despite Kenny Dalglish replacing Roy Hodgson as manager, the striker believes the club have shown insufficient ambition in their transfer targets.

If he were to join Chelsea, Torres would be eligible to play in the Champions League.

Chelsea’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, refused to be drawn on his club’s bid for Fernando Torres but said he was happy that “the club are trying to do everything they can to improve the squad”. But Ancelotti added: “I don’t want to speak about this, you will have to ask the club. He is not my player and I have to have respect for Liverpool. I don’t like to speak about this.”

Asked if the Torres bid had come as a surprise, he said: “I’m not surprised, because I know very well what the club is doing now. I am happy because the club is doing a fantastic job in this transfer market. The club is trying to do everything to improve the squad.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool have reopened talks with Ajax over Luis Suárez this afternoon. Ajax turned down a £12.8m offer from Liverpool for their captain this week and had insisted on €30m (£25.8m) for the deal to proceed. Suárez has told the coach, Frank De Boer, that he wishes to leave Amsterdam for Merseyside and, aware that his value will drop if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Ajax are now understood to be open to a compromise fee with Liverpool.

Simon Hopper is tipping Southampton to find the net when they host Man United on Saturday…

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