By Tom J Doyle
Ray Wilkins believes Fernando Torres could be used as a makeweight by Chelsea in a bid to land either Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani in the summer, bringing an end to his nightmare spell at Stamford Bridge.
The Spain forward joined the club for €58 million from Liverpool in 2011, but has only scored 14 goals in 68 Premier League appearances for the Blues, with speculation building over his uncertain future in London.
And while Roman Abramovich parted with €8.5m to land Demba Ba recently, the former Chelsea assistant coach feels they will need to sign either the Atletico Madrid or the Napoli striker to take the club "to the next step."
"I would love to say [Torres] has still got a future at the club because he once was a dynamic centre forward, but unfortunately that hasn't been the case at Chelsea so I'm a little bit disappointed for him," he told Goal.com.
"Demba Ba is a fantastic stop-gap but I think they'll probably use Torres as a bit of a makeweight when they end up going for Falcao or Cavani.
"The likes of Falcao and Cavani are very, very expensive, but those two centre forwards are probably the ones that can take Chelsea to the next step once again."
Despite the disappointment from both parties at Torres' troubled times at Stamford Bridge, Wilkins feels a swap deal with Falcao could be beneficial for both club and player.
"Obviously the benefit from Falcao coming is that [Torres] would be going back to Madrid where he started his footballing career. He'd be going home, and Chelsea would be getting an absolutely splendid centre-forward," he added.
Chelsea slipped 13 points behind league leaders Manchester United after being held 2-2 at home by Southampton on Wednesday, and are out of the Champions League group despite winning the competition last season.
And Wilkins thinks the club are now putting emphasis on finding the types of players who will lead the side to glory from the front - starting with a great deal for Newcastle striker Demba Ba.
"They've realised they need new forward players. Ba had to come in as well because Kalou's gone and Sturridge went to Liverpool," he said.
"Sturridge went for €15 million and Ba came in who is a bit of a goal machine - he's scoring for fun and you're getting him at €8.5 million, you're quids-in.
"You've got a player who is used to playing PL football whereas Daniel hasn't quite made it. He's very talented but he hasn't at the moment and Ba has so it's a good bit of business."
Wilkins was assistant manager at Chelsea from 2008 to 2010, during which time the club won a Premier League title and an FA Cup.