Ferran Torres to Barcelona: Will Manchester City really sell in January?

It makes perfect sense that Spanish giants Barcelona would be interested in Ferran Torres.

After 12 months, the Manchester City striker has just been voted Spain’s National Player of the Year after 12 months of scoring eight goals in 15 games for La Roja.

The 21-year-old is also a hugely important figure for Spanish football as it moves forward, as coach Luis Enrique rebuilds his side with a new generation of players – many , such as Pedri, Ansu Fati, Gavi and Eric Garcia, who pursued them. transactions at Camp Nou.

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So it’s no surprise that one of the three biggest clubs in Spain wants to sign a player like Torres.

“Ferran is a great player, like everyone else. We are doing our best to find the best for the club.” Barca Vice President, Rafa Yuste told Movistar Plus after Blaugrana CEO Ferran Reverter traveled to Manchester to open talks with Man City – something Yuste denied.

“We simply have friends in City, have a very good relationship and Reverter has come to pay a courtesy visit.”

It is also conceivable that, as sources have confirmed to GOAL, Torres could be tempted by the chance to return to La Liga and play a role in the Xavi revolution at Barcelona.

After just over a season in the Premier League, the former Valencia star is still trying to establish himself as a regular in Pep Guardiola’s side, with an international start much more certain than in England. his club.

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Meanwhile, it is still early days of Xavi’s regime in Catalunya, but the gloom of Camp Nou has been erased since his defection, making Barca an attractive prospect once again, even if they in serious danger of missing out in the Champions League knockout stages.

Convincing both Torres and Barcelona that the deal was worth doing, however, was just a little bit easier. Now comes the hard part, how can a club with no money and huge debt buy a player whose value continues to rise and has the potential to become a top player in the world? European rock in the next decade.

“It’s none of my business,” Guardiola said on Tuesday ahead of City’s clash with Aston Villa, denying based on speculation.

“You have to call [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] for that, or the person representing Ferran Torres, or Barcelona, ​​but I’m not the person to talk about that. “

Torres, who hasn’t turned 22 until February, has more than three and a half years left contract with the City that he signed after joining club for an initial price of £21 million ($27 million) in August 2020.

It was a bargain price at the time when Valencia was forced to sell the homegrown jewel for a cheap price amid financial problems not qualifying for the Champions League.

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Torres’ value has increased dramatically since then, with a player who played most of his early days as a winger having honed the scoring instincts that frequently worked under Guardiola, which could make saw him become the future face of Spanish football.

As such, City want full value for Torres, with the Premier League champions in no real urgency to sell and there are plenty of reasons to keep Torres, at least until the end of January.

After failing to sign a striker in the summer and with Gabriel Jesus now enjoying playing wide, Torres is the only senior member of City’s squad who feels most comfortable playing in the number nine position. .

It is a role he has made seven appearances for the club this season, scoring three goals and providing two assists before that. An ankle injury kept him out of action in mid-October.

Torres has recently ramped up his recovery and it is hoped that he can be back ahead of schedule and be in the squad ahead of a busy schedule at Christmas.

Winter will be a testing period for City’s attack, especially as Riyad Mahrez will be absent for a good period of January at the Africa Cup of Nations against Algeria.

Guardiola has spoken of the lack of players, and that having Torres back will give him a big boost.

“I have a lot of confidence in the squad and other players that will come in, but we really struggled in December – the hardest month of the year – because we had very few players,” he said. .

The January window is traditionally not the time for City to make moves, although a headwind could help fund a potential bid for that missing star striker.

However, financial problems at Barca remain the crux of any deal made, and sources in Spain insist that they will still have to sell this winter before they can be bought. .

Just over 12 months ago, Barca was in a similar situation when they wanted to sign Garcia from City, but couldn’t raise the cash to buy him despite agreeing personal terms and the player is desperate to leave.

City later showed that they were willing to forgo deals rather than being held for ransom, even in cases like Garcia’s when he failed to leave at the end of the season.

Barca hope things can be different this time, and hope to offload some high-wage fringe players, such as Philippe Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti, while The future of former Man City striker Sergio Aguero remains uncertain after a heart attack could force him to retire..

And so, while there may be a desire to complete a deal from some of the key individuals involved, the reality is that this looks tough to cross the line right now.

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