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Once red, now blue, Chelsea land Torres

sports Updated: Feb 02, 2011 01:04 IST

Reuters
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The British transfer record was smashed twice on Monday as Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea but raided Newcastle United for an immediate replacement in the shape of burly England frontman Andy Carroll.

The two strikers, together with Benfica defender David Luiz who also joined Chelsea on deadline day, took spending in the final hour of the transfer window to around 100 million pounds (R730.1 crore) as the club's owners flexed their financial muscles.

Torres cost Chelsea a widely reported £50 million (R365.1 crore) - a new British record by quite a margin - after the 22-year-old Carroll signed a five and a half year deal with Liverpool, his fee reported to be £35 million (R255.5 crore).

Carroll will not have to fill the hole left by the 26-year-old Torres alone, however, after Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish also completed the signing of Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez from Ajax for a further £22.8 million (R166 crore).

"This is a big step forward in my career to join a club like Chelsea," Torres said.

"They are one of the biggest teams in Europe and are always fighting for everything and it's a target for every footballer to play for one of the top clubs in the world.

Liverpool's new American owner John Henry of Fenway Sports Group made a statement of intent - backing Kenny Dalglish and averting a fans' backlash that would have followed had Torres left and not been adequately replaced.

Instant impact
Dalglish will hope that Suarez, who will wear the number seven shirt that the Scot and Kevin Keegan also graced, makes an instant impact and can forge a partnerhip with England striker Carroll to salvage something from a dismal season. He may have to wait to make his debut, though, having been sidelined with a thigh injury.

When trading closed on Monday, England's Premier League clubs had spent more than £200 million (R1460.2 crore) in January, a new record despite the economic woes afflicting the country. However, apart from the goings on at Anfield and Stamford Bridge, there were few other meaty deals done on deadline day.

Arsenal were quiet while Manchester City settled for the signing of Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko earlier in the month.

Tottenham Hotspur, attempted a late swoop for Blackpool's highly-rated playmaker Charlie Adam but were unsuccessful. Elsewhere, Aston Villa signed American midfielder Michael Bradley on loan from Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach while allowing Stephen Ireland to go on loan to Newcastle. Earlier in the month Villa broke their own transfer record when they signed Darren Bent from Sunderland for a fee that could top out at £24 m. (R175.2 crore).