Chelsea duo set to stay amid transfer talk

Chelsea manager Andre Villas Boas has rubbished rumours that Fernando Torres is set to be sold by the club, and stated that Frank Lampard is still an important part of his future plans.

Reports in some of the tabloids earlier in the week have indicated that The Blues were ready to cut their losses on the misfiring Spanish striker, with a sale being touted in January.

Despite this, the Portuguese coach has confirmed that Torres will not be leaving Stamford Bridge.

“Fernando Torres is not for sale at any price, now or in the summer,” he told reporters at a press conference.

Lampard meanwhile is still getting used to not being an automatic selection in the Chelsea starting XI, as the veteran England international has been forced to watch from the bench on occasion this season.

However, Villas Boas has spoken of the midfielder’s importance to the club and defended his squad rotation policy.

“Frank Lampard is a player of massive magnitude to this club.

“What I would say is there are plenty of players that push for starting XI selection and Frank is not the only one.

“There are people that are making great efforts to get into this Chelsea squad. Lamps’ is, I think, one of the top-five players most used.

“Every player wants to be involved in every game. But sometimes it is just not possible,” he continued.

Finally, with Chelsea in the draw for the Champions League knockout stages on Friday, Villas Boas has spoken of teams he wants to avoid.

“There are, of course, a lot of top teams also in those runners-up spot.

“One team with seven European titles [AC Milan] and, for sure, those will be the ones to try to avoid,” he concluded.

Chelsea closed the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Manchester City with a 2-1 win over the Citizens on Monday night, and will look to get closer to the division’s summit with a positive result at the DW Stadium against Wigan at the weekend.

By Gareth McKnight