Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger is reportedly plotting a shock bid for Chelsea front man Fernando Torres. This is easily the most outlandish Arsenal transfer rumor so far this summer, but the unlikely sounding move actually makes a lot of sense.
Sportsdirectnews.com reports that Wenger will attempt to beat La Liga giants Barcelona to snare Torres. This comes after earlier reports from The Daily Mirror, suggesting Barca want to seal a £17 million deal for Torres and use him as an impact substitute.
The Sportsdirectnews.com report quotes an unnamed source within the Gunners, who apparently states Wenger's admiration for Torres. It is true that Wenger has been a fan of Torres since the striker plied his trade for Atletico Madrid.
Wenger was keen on a move for Torres before he joined Liverpool in a mega deal in the summer of 2007. However, an unnamed source is not the most credible evidence that Wenger's renewed interest in genuine.
There is also the matter of the fee. The idea of Wenger paying £17 million for a 29-year-old does stretch the boundaries of reality.
It is true that Torres does not seem a fit for returning Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. But Mourinho's presence could still scupper any attempt from Arsenal to lure Torres from the west to the north of London.
Wenger and Mourinho have long been bitter rivals. It is difficult to imagine Mourinho willingly selling a player to Wenger. He would certainly make any deal tough and might hike up the price for the player Chelsea paid £50 million to sign in the winter of 2011.
Given that fee, Torres has hardly been a resounding success at Chelsea. Many have contended that the Spaniard is past his prime.
However, as much as he has warranted some criticism, Torres has not always received credit for his better performances. The 2012/13 campaign contained plenty of those performances.
Torres netted 23 goals, including a key strike against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in September, 2012. His critics will point out that only eight of those goals came in the English Premier League.
Torres may have been more prolific in so-called "lesser" competitions, but he could still be a great fit for Arsenal. Wenger is always looking for a central striker who combines a scoring touch with ample creativity.
Torres does boast excellent technique and plenty of flair. He tallied six assists in the league. His combination play with the likes of Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, was crucial to Chelsea's triumphant UEFA Europa League campaign.
He could do the same with Gunners schemers like Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere. Torres is also a superior finisher to current Arsenal centre-forward Olivier Giroud.
Torres possesses more of a natural poacher's instinct than any of Arsenal's existing strikers. He relies on intelligent and fluid movement and is also an underrated force in the air.
While his age may concern some, more experience and guile in attack could be a major boost for Arsenal. It would also give Giroud the chance to refine his game and develop more steadily at the top level.
The fact that Torres scored a healthy portion of his goals in Europe last season, prompted derision in some quarters. But ironically, it should appeal to Wenger.
Giroud and Lukas Podolski only found the net a combined six times in Arsenal's UEFA Champions League campaign. A more clinical presence up front might push Arsenal past the last-16 stage, where they have been eliminated each of the last three seasons.
According to Sky Sports, Mourinho claimed a willingness to work with Torres, at his introductory press conference, saying, "Fernando is more than happy to stay and work hard. If the best for all of us is for Fernando to stay, let's help him and try and get the best out of him."
The key word there is "if." Not only that, but The Mirror claims Mourinho has strong interest in Edinson Cavani. He could tempt ex-Chelsea and Liverpool boss, and current Napoli manager Rafa Benitez, into a sale by offering Torres.
Torres may also face a reduced role at Stamford Bridge, thanks to the arrival of Andre Schurrle. Chelseafc.com reported that terms of a deal to sign German forward Schurrle have been agreed.
The idea of Arsenal making a move for Torres does appear far-fetched. At least on the surface. But considering how well the experienced forward would suit Wenger's style of play, it might not be such a crazy idea.