Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says he wants to keep Fernando Torres even though the striker was not selected in the Blues' squad against Leicester.
Torres, 30, is the club's third-choice striker since the summer arrivals of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba.
He has been linked with a number of clubs, with AC Milan the latest reportedly interested in signing him.
But Mourinho said: "I want him to stay. He will play and score goals, and be very useful for us."
To compound matters for the Spaniard, his replacement and compatriot Costa - a £32m signing from Atletico Madrid - has made a fine start to his Chelsea career, scoring against Burnley and finding the net on his home debut as the Blues beat Leicester 2-0.
|Torres at Chelsea|
|Fernando Torres joined Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for a club record fee of £50m.||He played 28 games in last season's Premier League, scoring five goals and five assists.|
In explaining his decision to omit Torres from his 18-man squad against the Foxes, Mourinho said: "The reason is I decided to keep the same team, to have a bench with a complete balance. Sometimes I can have two strikers on the bench, sometimes I can't.
"I want three strikers in the team. Sometimes I play with two, one on the bench, sometimes someone will be injured or suspended. I cannot do a season without three strikers."