As the most dramatic transfer window for many a season shut at 11pm last night with more than £120million-worth of talent changing hands.
Fernando Torres completed his British record £50million move to Chelsea on Monday night at the end of a day in which the Barclays Premier League went cash crazy.
Chelsea alone spent £75m, securing a last-minute £25m cash-plus-player swoop for Benfica’s Brazil defender David Luiz as well as Torres.
Liverpool went straight out and re-invested the fee they got for the Spaniard by buying two strikers, paying £35m for Newcastle’s England forward Andy Carroll and completing the £22.8m capture of Luis Suarez on a five-and-a-half year deal.
However, Charlie Adam’s protracted move to Anfield from Blackpool fell through after a heated row between club representatives.
A delighted Torres said: ‘It has been two or three or four very hard days. For everything I have had at Liverpool, I am a Chelsea player and I am really happy, and I am sure I am taking a big step forward in my career joining a club like Chelsea.
‘I just want to be at the level where I am pleased to stay. It is a great club. Everybody will be expecting big things of me and I am prepared for it. I like to play in games that motivate me.
‘It is the kind of team I want to play for, one of the biggest teams in Europe always fighting for everything, after that there is no more steps forward, this is the type of football I want to play with one of the top clubs in the world and I can do it now. I have to be very happy, and I am.’
‘It’s my dream to win the Champions League and I’m sure I can, playing for Chelsea. I think all my team-mates share that dream with me and hopefully we can.’
Torres is relishing the responsibility of testing himself alongside Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, rating the Ivory Coast forward ‘the best striker in the world by far’.
‘Obviously Drogba is the best striker in the world by far. It’s a big responsibility for me to play alongside them because the level they have is so high.’
Torres cannot wait to link up with his former Liverpool team-mate and friend Yossi Benayoun at Stamford Bridge.
‘He was worried about everything, these last two or three days, and I am very happy to play with him again,’ he said. ‘Hopefully he will be back (from injury) as soon as possible.
‘For my kind of football it’s very nice to have this kind of player. I have a good relationship with Yossi on and off the pitch.
‘It’s great for me to join the same team as him again, at a big club like Chelsea. I know all the team-mates miss him – he’s a great lad.’
Luiz, 23, said: ‘I am delighted to be joining a big English club, and I know very well the quality that Chelsea has.
‘It is a major challenge for me but I am determined and confident in my ability to adapt to this excellent league, and I look forward to meeting my new team-mates.’
Luiz will not be eligible for the Blues’ Champions League knockout stage campaign after featuring for Benfica this season.
Blues chief executive Ron Gourlay said: ‘David Luiz is one of the great defensive prospects in world football, and already a Brazilian international. I am sure he will prove a valuable addition to the Chelsea squad.’
Midfielder Nemanja Matic, on loan at Vitesse Arnhem from Chelsea, will move to Benfica in the summer as part of the deal.
While fans of spending clubs were celebrating their ambition, the spree was guaranteed to rile UEFA president Michel Platini as he waits to introduce his Financial Fair Play rules.
Chelsea chose Monday to unveil their latest accounts, showing they lost nearly £71m in the year ending last June.
That didn’t stop them signing Torres, even though the Spaniard walked away from Anfield with a parting shot from Dalglish.
He said: ‘There is no one individual bigger than this club. There never has been and there never will be.
‘Players come and go, but more have come into this club than gone out. The owners have been unbelievable in the support they have shown. They understand what this club is about and are very much prepared to put their hand into their pocket.
‘When we spoke to them about Suarez their response was, “Is there anybody else?”‘
7am: England captain Rio Ferdinand catches the mood of the footballing nation with a Tweet: ‘Wow Spurs bid £38.5m for Sergio Aguero…. top player… huge price that! This transfer window is going nuts as it comes to a close!’
8.40: Back to the action, Paraguay captain Paulo Da Silva, 31, leaves Sunderland for Real Zaragoza for around £300,000 after one Premier League game.
9.35: SIGNED AND SEALED — Liverpool caretaker boss Kenny Dalglish kicks off a busy day on Merseyside, confirming Paul Konchesky will be joining Nottingham Forest on emergency loan.
9.45: Dalglish reiterates club statement from Friday insisting Torres is not for sale, just as claims begin flying around the internet that Liverpool have accepted a bid from Chelsea.
9.50: Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp swings into Spurs’ training complex, driven by first-team coach Kevin Bond, and tells Sky Sports News he does not expect to sign Sergio Aguero, Giuseppe Rossi, Alvaro Negredo or Fernando Llorente. He’s not asked about Diego Forlan, though.
10.30: SIGNED AND SEALED — Michael Bradley’s loan from Borussia Monchengladbach is confirmed at Aston Villa. Gerard Houllier says: ‘We’re not in a very comfortable position in the league and we’ve got to prepare for the future. Michael Bradley is 23 and a very hard-working midfielder who can score goals.’
10.50: West Ham win the race to sign Dulwich Hamlet’s 18-year-old Paul McCullum, reports Sportsmail’s Sami Mokbel. The striker turned down offers from Fulham and Reading.
11.05: Radio Five Live’s Ian Dennis reports that Liverpool have lodged a £30m bid for Andy Carroll. Colin Young writes: ‘The trouble is Alan Pardew has been insisting for weeks the England striker is not for sale.’
11.15: Newcastle reject Carroll bid. Chief football correspondent Matt Lawton writes: ‘This smacks of a knee jerk reaction by Liverpool. Carroll is not a £30m player but he could be.’ Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore, says on Twitter: ‘Liking a lot the idea of Andy Carroll in an LFC shirt. Young, A nightmare to play against, Will improve at a great club.’
11.20: Bolton are keen on taking Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge on loan.
11.30: Sportsmail understands Liverpool and Chelsea have agreed a fee for Torres — around £48million — but want to keep deal under wraps for fear of distorting the market.
11.40: Word from Villa Park is that Stephen Ireland will complete a loan move to Newcastle.
11.45: Former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins completes his medical at Birmingham ahead of loan move from Rubin Kazan.
11.50: Sportsmail’s Simon Jones reveals Blackpool are in for Rangers striker James Beattie — minutes later it’s announced the former England striker, 32, has arrived for a medical at Bloomfield Road. — manager Alan Pardew was due to hold his press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Fulham at 2pm, but that’s been put back to 3.30pm.
12.05pm: Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier warns suitors off Ashley Young, saying: ‘Ashley is not going. I know some teams will have money but no way is he going to leave.’
12.40: Torres leaves Liverpool’s training ground in a speeding 4×4, reportedly to meet a helicopter.
12.45: Spurs reportedly bid £17m for Atletico Madrid’s Forlan. Matt Lawton writes: ‘Forlan proved at the World Cup that he has developed since his time at Man United.’
1.20: King of the understatement, David Moyes, reveals: ‘We are hoping we can bring in a young player from Greece.’ What the Evert on boss means is that Apostolos Vellios, 19, is the only addition he expects to make. More revealing is Moyes’s claim that he received an ‘insulting’ £250,000 bid from Spurs for captain Phil Neville at the weekend.
1.25: Aguero ends speculation linking him to Tottenham by signing a contract extension with Atletico Madrid.
1.35: Liverpool have still not sealed the deal for striker Luis Suarez, but they must be close as the Uruguayan has been handed the No 7 shirt at Anfield.
1.40: Barcelona’s reserve striker Ruben Rochina, 19, is expected to complete his move to Blackburn.
2.15: Manchester United agree to let Tom Cleverley, 21, stay at Wigan until the end of the season.
2.35: Blackpool confirm signing of Sunderland midfielder Andy Reid for an undisclosed fee. Of his new recruit, Ian Holloway says: ‘He’ll be perfect for us and it won’t take me long to get him going. He’s gone for £12m in the past so that’s not a bad take for us.’ Has Reid’s arrival paved the way for Charlie Adam’s departure? Holloway appears none the wiser, saying: ‘I haven’t a clue whether he’s going!’
3.00: Liverpool have raised the bid to £35m for Carroll, a player outscored in the Championship last season by Peter Whittingham, Nicky Maynard, Gary Hooper, Michael Chopra and Adam. Robbie Savage reacts to the multi-million-pound-chaos, posting a Tweet: ‘I must still be worth about £7m.’
4.00: SIGNED AND SEALED — Birmingham finally clinch six-month loan signing of striker Martins, who claims to be 26, which means he moved to Reggiana in Italy at 16. He only joined Kazan last summer in a £14m deal from Wolfsburg. Also, Andy Keogh leaves Wolves for Bristol City on three-month loan and Forest have completed the signing of US striker Robbie Findley, 25, on a free.
4.05: Blackpool open talks with Zenit St Petersburg for striker Sergey Kornilenko. Sportsmail’s world football expert, Ashley Gray, writes: ‘Kornilenko’s agent has been trying to get him a move to England since last January, when the Belarus striker trained with West Ham.’
4.10: A heap of money appears to have been waged on Adam moving to Manchester United, although as Ian Ladyman says: ‘United are saying nothing’s happening.’
4.25: West Ham, in desperate need of trimming their squad, offload striker Frank Nouble, 19, to Barnsley until the end of the season. Leeds take goalkeeper David Gonzalez on loan from Manchester City.
4.40: Amazing twist in the Carroll-to-Anfield saga as Newcastle reject £35m bid from Liverpool.
4.50: Liverpool sign an England player! Under 17 midfielder Conor Thomas joins on loan from Coventry.
5.00: Carroll will lodge a formal transfer request within the hour. Manic Monday back on. Spurs have re-entered the fray — offering Peter Crouch plus cash.
5.30: Carroll’s transfer request is accepted by Newcastle. Liverpool confirm Mike Ashley & Co have accepted their £35m bid. ‘The Club have been given permission by Newcastle to discuss personal terms with the player, who will now travel to Liverpool for a medical,’ Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere Tweets: ‘Andy Carroll will be a great player for Liverpool and England #fact.’
5.40: Reports suggest Liverpool have had a £10m bid accepted by Blackpool for Charlie Adam. Matt Lawton says: ‘Could Liverpool become a long-ball team now? Charlie Adam has hit more long balls than any player in Premier League this season and Andy Carroll scores headers for fun — five so far this season. It’s not the Anfield way, nor Dalglish’s.’
5.45: Aston Villa have heard nothing about Stephen Ireland failing a medical at Newcastle and believe the deal is still on.
5.50: Torres in London waiting for the green light for a medical.
6.00: SIGNED AND SEALED — It’s one striker gone and one to go at Newcastle after Spanish striker Xisco brings his dreadful spell on Tyneside to an end, resigning for Deportivo La Coruna after only 11 appearances.
6.25: SIGNED AND SEALED — MailOnline breaks a world exclusive: Chelsea complete transfer of defender David Luiz for £21m plus Nemanja Matic.
6.40: Slight over-reaction on Merseyside, where they’re burning Torres shirts. Kenny’s son Paul Dalglish, on Twitter, says: ‘Disgusted to see Liverpool shirts being burnt. At Liverpool the name on the front is always more important than the name on the back!’
6.45: Carroll arrives in Liverpool as Black – burn complete their capture of Barcelona 19-year-old Rochina.
7.15: SIGNED AND SEALED — Aston Villa say Bradley, son of US coach Bob, has joined on loan until the summer, pending clearance and a visa.
7.40: Liverpool confirm that Torres has been given permission to speak to Chelsea. Carroll shown in his civvies arriving at Liverpool.
7.45: Sky Sports News broadcast footage of Avram Grant leaving West Ham’s training ground — and the Hammers boss says he could still add ‘maybe one’ more player to the squad. Carlton Cole is staying, he says, despite links to Newcastle.
8.00: Remember 11.20am — Bolton loan deal for Sturridge is set to be confirmed.
8.05: Harry Redknapp said he’d be leaving Spurs Lodge four hours ago, straight after training. The Tottenham boss in still in there. Stand by for a Forlan announcement at 10.59pm.
8.10: Is it job done? Dalglish and assistant Steve Clarke leave Melwood having spent a truckload of money.
8.15: Latest rumours claim Bolton striker Johan Elmander will fill the Carroll shaped void at Newcastle, Eidur Gudjohnsen is leaving Stoke for Fulham and Shay Given is joining Man City team-mate Craig Bellamy at Cardiff, although Sportsmail learns from a source close to the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper that there have been no new developments.
8.25: David Luiz disembarks his plane at Lisbon airport to sign paperwork, which will be faxed to the Premier League. He’ll then fly on to Luton. Deal being done.
8.40: Finally Redknapp emerges from his Spurs bunker. He’s claiming no action, adding: ‘I had to laugh hearing Newcastle talk about how hard they fought to keep Carroll. Every time these clubs sell a player they seem to make him put in a transfer request so they can pretend they didn’t want to take the money.’
8.45: Confirmation of Gudjohnsen having a Fulham medical. Sturridge has joined Bolton and Blackburn sign midfielder Mauro Formica.
9.10: Liverpool’s website up and running again — so many hits when they announced fee for Carroll was agreed it crashed.
9.20: SIGNED AND SEALED — Bolt on get Sturridge for the rest of the season.
9.27: Sven Goran Eriksson can’t miss out, he’s close to taking Chelsea’s Wilfred Bruma to Leicester.
9.34: Blackpool say Adam is staying. They complete signing of Southampton winger Jason Puncheon, 24.
9.43: Not just the big clubs spending big — Stevenage say they’ve broken their club record to sign striker Craig Reid from Newport County.
10.13: Everton say they have turned down £1.5m Spurs bid for Phil Neville. Carroll having medical.
10.48: Wigan turn down an offer of £12m Newcastle bid to bring back Charles N’Zogbia.
10.53: Carroll’s five-and-a-half year deal is confirmed.
10.58: Liverpool confirm that Torres has joined Chelsea.
Copyright 2011 by The Daily Mail