A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Benitez defends Torres and says fans will love him again
Rafael Benitez has launched a resolute defence of Fernando Torres after the striker was booed off the pitch during Chelsea’s defeat against Swansea City, insisting the supporters “will love him again” when his form improves.
Torres was replaced by Demba Ba after 81 minutes on Wednesday night and came under fire from a large section of the home fans at Stamford Bridge. However, Chelsea’s interim manager claimed the Spaniard’s poor performance was due to a stomach bug that he picked up more than a week ago.
Benitez said that because Ba had sustained a hamstring injury in training, Torres was the right choice to start the first leg of the League Cup semi-final, and praised him for playing through severe pain.
“We only had Fernando Torres so he was doing a massive effort for the team. He was criticised but was working so hard in difficult circumstances,” Benitez said. “The other day he was sick on the bench, that was why he didn’t play at Southampton. It was explained to me as a bug, a virus.
“The fans loved Torres when he was scoring, they will love him again when he starts scoring goals again.”
Coloccini wants to leave Newcastle
Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has told the club he wants to leave in January for personal reasons.
While the 30-year-old has not handed in a formal transfer request, a crisis in his personal life means he no longer feels he can stay on Tyneside.
Further talks are planned in the coming days, with Newcastle set to do all they can to persuade the Argentina international to change his mind.
But club officials fear Coloccini has set his heart on a return to Argentina.
Originally from Cordoba in Argentina, Coloccini joined Newcastle from Deportivo in 2008 and signed a new four-year contract with the St James' Park club last year.
Kelly signs for Reading in two-and-a-half year deal
Reading have completed the signing of right back Stephen Kelly from Fulham. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international has joined Reading on a two-and-a-half year contract.
The 29-year-old Dubliner was a key player for Fulham last season but has lost his starting berth to Sascha Riether this term and leaves the west Londoners in search of first-team football.
The move is still subject to final ratification of all paperwork from the football authorities and Kelly will not be involved in Reading’s match against West Brom this afternoon.
“I’m delighted to have Stephen here,” manager Brian McDermott said.
However, McDermott ruled out a move for Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, who enjoyed a memorable spell with the club before his move to Wolves.