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Football

20th May 2018

Rafa Benitez confirms interest in signing Fernando Torres for Newcastle

Benitez can't rule out working with Torres for a third time, although he admits signing him might be difficult

Simon Lloyd

Fernando Torres will have a new club this summer. That much we do know.

Since recently confirming that he would be leaving boyhood club Atletico Madrid, Torres has been linked with a number of clubs from across the world. Most reports seem to suggest he’s off to Major League Soccer with Chicago Fire, while others claim China or even Japan are more likely destinations.

There’s believed to be interest from clubs in the UK too. Steven Gerrard, his former teammate from Liverpool, is thought to be keen on taking him to Scotland as he begins life as Rangers manager, and then there’s talk of a reunion with Rafa Benitez.

Now at Newcastle, Benitez signed Torres for Liverpool 11 years ago. He has already explained that he thought the striker was keen to experience an entirely new culture with his next move, seemingly ruling him out of a return to England, where he also played under Benitez at Chelsea.

His latest comments, however, seem to suggest that he is very much keen on the idea of bringing Torres to Tyneside – even if it may be difficult.

“I think it will be harder for him to come [to Newcastle], not because we don’t want to [sign him],” the 58-year-old told MARCA.

“I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but maybe he is thinking about something else. It would be appealing, but I don’t think it would be easy. In Liverpool he was sensational. Then we went to Chelsea and, although he had a bad time when he arrived, he was essential for us in winning the Europa League.”

Torres finally won his first trophy with Atleti during their Europa League final win over Marseille in Lyon last week. Although he remained on the bench until stoppage time, he was invited to help captain Gabi lift the trophy as it was presented to Diego Simeone’s side after the game.