The more minutes Alessio Cerci sits on the bench at the Vicente Calderón, the more rumours about his future surface. And with the Italian yet to make a league start for Atlético, there’s no shortage of articles linking Alessio with a return to Italy. But could we be bringing in a certain striker as part of the deal?
Up until now – it had all been hearsay. A big money signing wasting away on the bench, given very little opportunity to impress, it was only a matter of time before a departure was on the cards.
However it wasn’t until Roberto Mancini talked about Alessio in public that the rumour mill kicked into overdrive.
“Is Cerci our primary objective for January? He could be, but we need to wait, as he is an Atlético Madrid player,” Mancini told the media on Monday.
If you believe all that you read, it looks like there is a Milan derby going on between AC and Inter – this time over the future of the man we signed less than six months ago. But with nine appearances in that time – and an apparent reluctance to adopt the Simeone way – could we be tempted to sell?
AC Milan however, have a trump card. They paid nothing for it, and yet they could hold the most valuable piece of the puzzle. The man who used to embody rojiblanco. El niño, himself. Fernando Torres.
If you’re unfamiliar with Torres journey over the last few years (and of course you’re not – as you’ve secretly followed him from club to club like the rest of us) then you’ll know it’s been an unhappy couple of seasons for the Spaniard.
Since leaving Spain, he had a number of fantastic seasons at Liverpool. However the last season or so, he wasn’t as prolific. Liverpool did well to sell him for £50 million to Chelsea, and he was largely disappointing at Stamford Bridge.
The current situation? Jose Mourinho loaned him out to AC Milan on a two-year deal. Fernando Torres has two years left on his contract. He’s done at Chelsea – they don’t want him. This was confirmed by Mourinho.
“We have no space for players in our list, either in the Champions League or the Premier League,” the Portugese said when asked recently.
However it looks like Milan don’t want him either. He’s scored once in 10 Serie A appearances this season, and he hasn’t played since drawing with Inter exactly a month ago.
It was speculated that Milan were looking to cancel the loan move, but need Chelsea’s agreement. They’re not going to get it.
The only solution to this problem for both Chelsea and Milan, is to take advantage of sentiment, and offer a 30-year-old Fernando Torres back to his boyhood club – Atlético.
Rubbish! You might think. Absurd! We have a settled squad, Mandzukic is our number nine. Why would we take a player on a downward spiral?
Because if anyone could revitalise Fernando Torres career, it’s his one-time teammate Diego Simeone.
But fairytales like this don’t come true, do they?
“There’s no Torres deal, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one”, said a subtle Enrique Cerezo, when asked today.
For a lot of Atlético fans, this could be the best sentence that our president has ever uttered. For others, the opposite, as they see his monstrous wages a massive stumbling block.
It’s looking like more of a possibility – will Fernando Torres return? Should we swap him for Cerci?