Fernando Torres arrives for training in Liverpool on Monday.
Fernando Torres arrives for training in Liverpool on Monday. Photo: AFP
Chelsea smashed the British transfer record to sign Spain striker Fernando Torres for £50 million ($A80.3 million) from Liverpool on a dramatic final day of the January transfer window.
The move came less than an hour after Liverpool broke the record with a £35 million ($A56.21 million) swoop for Newcastle forward Andy Carroll.
The Blues last week had a £35 million ($A56.2 million) offer for Torres rejected, a move which prompted the 26-year-old to submit a written transfer request on Friday, which was also turned down.
Ponying up the cash . . . Andy Carroll is moving to Liverpool in a record transfer deal for a British player.
Ponying up the cash . . . Andy Carroll is moving to Liverpool in a record transfer deal for a British player. Photo: AP
But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was determined to revitalise his faltering English champions and the Russian finally got his man late on Monday.
In the end, total spending by English Premier League clubs approached £200 million ($A321.18 million) compared to £29 million ($A46.57 million) last January as the transfer market went wild.
A remarkable day gathered pace from the moment Liverpool had a bid accepted for England striker Carroll.
Star striker . . . Fernando Torres in action for Liverpool against Fulham last week in what could be his final Premier League match for the Merseyside club.
Star striker . . . Fernando Torres in action for Liverpool against Fulham last week in what could be his final Premier League match for the Merseyside club. Photo: Getty Images
The Reds had two previous offers for Carroll rejected, but the 22-year-old - who despite an impressive first season in the Premier League has also made the front pages with some unsavoury headlines - forced Newcastle’s hand by also delivering a transfer request which the Magpies reluctantly accepted.
The conclusion of that deal just before the 2300GMT (10am AEDT) transfer deadline on Monday allowed Liverpool to accept Chelsea’s jaw-dropping offer for Torres.
‘‘These have been some hard days for me, especially because of everything I am leaving at Liverpool, but I am sure I am taking one of the biggest steps forward in my career,’’ Torres told Chelsea’s website.
‘‘Chelsea are the kind of team I want to play for. They are one of the biggest teams in Europe and are always fighting for everything.
‘‘The target for every footballer is to play in one of the top-level clubs in the world and I can do it now.’’
Torres was not the only arrival at Chelsea as they struck a deal with Benfica for Brazilian defender David Luiz.
The transfer is believed to be worth £17.1 million ($A27.46 million) up front, with another £4.3 million ($A6.91 million) to be paid in 2013 and midfielder Nemanja Matic to join Benfica as a makeweight.
Young striker Daniel Sturridge left Chelsea to join Bolton on loan for the rest of the season.
As well as Carroll, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish also landed prolific Uruguay forward Luis Suarez from Ajax in a £22.6 million ($A36.29 million) swoop.
Suarez agreed to a five-and-a-half-year contract and the 24-year-old, who scored 111 goals in 159 matches for Ajax, will wear the iconic number seven shirt made famous by the likes of Dalglish and Kevin Keegan.
Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky’s unhappy spell at Anfield was ended by a loan move to Championship club Nottingham Forest.
Blackpool, who held on to Charlie Adam after possible moves for their playmaker to Liverpool and Tottenham fell through, made four signings.
They brought in Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Reid from Sunderland for an undisclosed fee, landed James Beattie on loan from Rangers, took Sergei Kornilenko on loan from Zenit St Petersburg until the end of the season and agreed a similar deal for Southampton winger Jason Puncheon.
League Cup finalists Birmingham City signed Obafemi Martins in a six-month loan deal from Russian side Rubin Kazan after the Nigerian striker was granted a work permit.
Newcastle signed Stephen Ireland on loan from Aston Villa and Eidur Gudjohnsen joined Fulham on loan until the end of the season from Stoke.
Turkish striker Tuncay Sanli left Stoke for German club Wolfsburg on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Blackburn signed both teenage forward Ruben Rochina and Argentinian midfielder Mauro Formica for undisclosed fees from Barcelona and Newell’s Old Boys respectively.
Aston Villa took American midfielder Michael Bradley on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach for the rest of the season.
Wigan signed striker Conor Sammon on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Kilmarnock, while Blackburn’s El Hadji Diouf joined Rangers.