It was hard, after all, to begrudge Fabregas, a boyhood Barcelona fan, a move back to Catalonia. Rooney - who, crucially, never handed in a transfer request, nor threatened to do so - has nevertheless hardly been portrayed as a paragon of footballing virtue. Tévez joined City for their riches: they must live by the sword and die by the sword, even if it is gilded.
But Torres is different. This is the player who insisted that, upon departing Atlético Madrid, he would only do so for Liverpool. This is the player who bore the legend “You’ll Never Walk Alone” on an armband while still playing in Spain. This is the player who spoke openly, as recently as October 2009, of Liverpool being the only team he would play for in this country.
“I hope to play for many years or maybe even finish my career here,” he said. “Liverpool is my English team and I don’t think about playing for another one.”
And yet now he is not only contemplating a move to Chelsea, but has destabilised the club he once professed to love with just three days left of the transfer window. On the day Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, announced the £22.8 million signing of Luis Suarez as a signal of their ambition, Torres rocked Anfield to its foundations.” —Rory Smith