LONDON — Fernando Torres looked set to leave Liverpool on Monday after Chelsea agreed a fee for the Spain striker, who could be replaced by Andy Carroll as the final day of Europe's January transfer window drew to a dramatic close.
The Reds confirmed that Torres has been given permission to speak to their Premier League rivals, hours after saying Carroll was on his way to Anfield from Newcastle to discuss personal terms on a club-record signing.
Chelsea is reportedly prepared to pay 50 million pounds ($79.5 million) for Torres, which would be the third most expensive transfer in world football, exceeded only by Real Madrid's 2009 purchases of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez is widely recognized as being the most expensive transfer within British football after moving from Man United for about 47 million pounds in 2009.
Carroll is reported to be moving for a British-record fee — believed to be about 35 million pounds ($56 million) — after having a transfer request accepted by Newcastle.
Liverpool, by far the most active team on deadline day, was also expected to complete the signing of Luis Suarez from Ajax for 26.5 million ($36 million). The Uruguay striker passed a medical examination on Sunday and is on course to complete his 26.5 million ($36 million) transfer.
The Reds turned down Torres' request to leave the team he joined for a club-record 20.3 million pounds (then $40.6 million) from Atletico Madrid in 2007.
Torres, who is contracted until 2013, is one of the most sought-after players in world football despite a disappointing contribution to Spain's World Cup win last year. He scored the winning goal in Spain's 2008 European Championship win over Germany and has struck 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool.
After reining in its spending over the past couple of years, Chelsea could also be about to splash out on Brazil defender David Luiz from Benfica. Luiz could cost the Blues about 21 million pounds ($33.6 million), plus the loan of a squad player.
It doesn't look like Sergio Aguero will be appearing on a list of record transfers anytime soon after the Argentina star signed a new contract with Atletico Madrid, ending Tottenham's hopes of signing him.
United States midfielder Michael Bradley became Aston Villa's fourth signing of the transfer window — after Darren Bent, Jean Makoun and on-loan Kyle Walker — when he joined the central England club on loan until the end of the season from Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Villa has also sent Irish midfielder Stephen Ireland out on loan to Newcastle until the end of the season.
Wolfsburg started spending some of the money Manchester City paid for Edin Dzeko this month when it signed South Korea international Koo Ja-choel from Jeju United, teenager Yohandry Orozco from Venezuelan club FC Zulia and Turkey forward Tuncay Sanli from Stoke.
The Bundesliga club said Koo, the leading scorer at January's Asian Cup with five goals, agreed a 3½-year contract and Orozco a 4½-year deal.
"They are two versatile midfield players with very promising futures," said Wolfsburg business manager Dieter Hoeness, whose club has signed Tuncay on a 3½-year contract.
Loan moves were common across Europe as teams sought value and a close look at players before deciding whether to sign them permanently at the end of the season.
Brazil striker Andre joined Bordeaux from Dynamo Kiev on a six-month loan deal, while Slavia Prague's Czech Republic midfielder, Adam Hlousek, was set to join Kaiserslautern on loan.