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English Premiership

Chelsea get their man

LONDON, February 1- Chelsea smashed the British transfer record to sign Spain striker Fernando Torres from Liverpool, who had earlier made a club record swoop for Newcastle's Andy Carroll on a dramatic deadline day.

The Blues last week had a 35 million pounds (56 million dollars) 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.

But Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was determined to make a landmark signing to revitalise his team after two seasons of only modest investment in the Stamford Bridge squad and finally got his man for 50 million pounds (80 million dollars).

In the end, total spending by Premier League clubs approached 200 million pounds (321 million dollars) compared to 29 million pounds (46 million dollars) last January as the transfer market went wild.

A remarkable day in the Premier League gathered pace from the moment Liverpool had a bid accepted for England striker Carroll.

Liverpool had two previous offers for Carroll rejected but the player – who despite having an impressive first season in the Premier League has also made the front pages with some unsavoury headlines – forced Newcastle’s hand by delivering a transfer request which the Magpies reluctantly accepted.

The conclusion of that deal just before the 2300GMT transfer deadline on Monday allowed Liverpool to accept Chelsea’s jaw-dropping offer for Torres.

Meanwhile, Torres was not the only arrival at Chelsea as they struck a deal with Benfica for Brazilian defender David Luiz.

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The transfer is believed to be worth 17.1 million pounds (27.3 million dollars) up front, with another 4.3 million pounds (6.8 million dollars) 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 pounds (36 million dollars) swoop.

Suarez agreed 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.

Elsewhere on the last day of the transfer window, Blackpool 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.

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Wolves brought in former Bristol City goalkeeper Adriano Basso on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Stoke striker Tuncay Sanli got his wish to leave the Britannia Stadium as the Turk moved to German club Wolfsburg on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Sunderland sold Paraguay defender Paulo Da Silva to Spanish club Real Zaragoza.

Blackburn signed teenage forward Ruben Rochina from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee and Argentinian midfielder Mauro Formica from Newell’s Old Boys, also for an undisclosed fee.

Aston Villa took American midfielder Michael Bradley on loan from Borussia Monchengladbach for the rest of the season.

Wigan landed striker Conor Sammon on a three-and-a-half-year deal from Kilmarnock, while Blackburn’s El Hadji Diouf joined Rangers.

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