Fernando Torres has revealed Chelsea made their move for him long before the close of the January transfer window as he promised Liverpool fans the full story behind his controversial Anfield exit.
The Blues' record-breaking swoop for Torres looked to have been a classic smash-and-grab affair, with the 50m deal sealed shortly before Monday's 11pm deadline and only four days after the Reds confirmed they had rejected a 35m bid for the striker.
But Torres revealed during his unveiling as a Chelsea player at a press conference yesterday that he learned Chelsea had approached Liverpool "10 days or 12 days" before the window shut, demonstrating the Barclays Premier League champions had spent some time attempting to prise him away from Merseyside.
Torres also confirmed that was the point when he told the Reds hierarchy he wanted to leave, which was at least a week before he submitted a written transfer request.
"As soon as I knew that Liverpool and Chelsea were talking about that, I told them then that the decision was made and I would like them to talk seriously about the possibility," he said.
"I was the first one to go straight to the manager and all the people to tell them I wanted to leave."
Torres revealed upon signing for Chelsea that it was last summer when he began to feel he needed to move on, when his new club reportedly had another bid for him rejected.
That fuelled speculation the Spaniard had not been fully committed this season but he said yesterday: "I never lost my ambition. Too many people are talking about that, but it's just their opinions.
"I was playing out of form for months.
"I was not just playing there for six months, but for three-and-a-half years, and I always tried to help the club move forward."
Torres also spoke on Tuesday about the Blues being on a different level to Liverpool, London offering a better lifestyle than Merseyside and his desire to score against his former club tomorrow, comments which irked some already-angry Anfield supporters.
A few had been filmed burning replica Torres shirts when his departure began to look inevitable and he attempted to placate the disenchanted yesterday when he said: "I only have good things to say about the Liverpool people and the supporters especially.
"I had a great three-and-a-half years there. They made me feel really good there.
"I will never say anything bad about that club, that city.
"I understand they will be angry and won't understand my decision.
"I'm sure in a few days, weeks, I will explain all the reasons."
The 26-year-old, who joined Liverpool from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2007, added: "I was an Atletico Madrid fan and when some of the top players left the club, I didn't understand.
"But, in time, I understood they did the best for themselves and their families and their careers.
"I'm sure, with time, they (Liverpool fans) will see what I did there and will think it was fair.
"Football is like this. From one day to another, people can love you and then hate you.
"But I'm sure the majority of Liverpool fans are not thinking like the ones you can see on the TV."
Torres also promised not to celebrate if he scored against his former club tomorrow, saying: "I have big respect for Liverpool fans."
But he admitted the thought of going one step further and asking to sit out the game had not crossed his mind, adding: "Why would I?"
Such was the interest in Torres yesterday, groups of journalists were forced to take turns to interview the most expensive player transferred between British clubs.
That was his first taste of the scrutiny he would be under at Stamford Bridge but the super-confident Spain star said: "I have been in this situation before when I signed for Liverpool – big money, big expectations – so it's nothing new for me. I'm more than ready for the challenge.
"I'm excited about this new life and this new era I have in front of me."
New Liverpool signing Luis Suarez insists he is not fazed by the prospect of his move to English football.
The Uruguay international joined the Reds on the back of a prolific goalscoring record for Ajax, with 111 goals in 159 matches.
His arrival on Merseyside, however, was overshadowed somewhat by Andy Carroll's club record 35m transfer from Newcastle.
Not that the 24-year-old South American is bothered by his fellow forward stealing all the limelight after Suarez announced his arrival with a debut goal in front of the Kop in midweek.
"I was aware it would be quite tough to settle in and adapt with a quick, rapid style of football but having seen what I saw against Stoke let's hope every game turns out like that," he said.
"It is a weight off your shoulders scoring your first goal.
"But in terms of making the change from Dutch football it is a case of doing what you have always done, concentrating on your own strengths rather than worrying about defenders."