Beijing Renhe have rejected suggestions that they are about to make an offer for Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, who may be set for an exit from the Spanish club for the second time in his career. Torres returned to the Vicente Calderon for a second spell at the club. He is a local hero at Atletico Madrid and even captained them at a very young age. Torres is expected to have a much lower first-team opportunities in the second half of the campaign, as Atletico have brought in Diego Costa as the new centre forward. Even Antoine Griezmann looks set to stay at the club and it will be a tough choice for manager Diego Simeone to have a disgruntled Torres in the squad.

There is an opportunity for the Chinese Super League to benefit from the availability of a top striker like Torres. Even though his recent form may have deserted him, Torres enjoys a huge amount of popularity around the world after having won every major honour – including the Champions League and the World Cup. Few players are able to boast about the list of trophies like Torres and this is a testament to the player’s quality. At 33 years of age, Atletico will struggle to convince him to stay beyond the campaign. Torres’ contract runs out at the end of the campaign.

“With regard to the rumour of buying Torres, an agent did recommend him to us. However, after careful deliberation, we did not put him in our transfer list. Beijing Renhe will stick to our usual path of pragmatism. We won't blindly pursue the big names,” said deputy general manager Zhang Yue at Beijing Renhe. After having featured in 11 appearances in the La Liga this season, Torres has managed to score only one goal.