With the January transfer window just a little over a month away, Barcelona have sprung into activity in the transfer market. After all the talks of them wanting to sign Raheem Sterling, Dani Olmo, Kingsley Coman and various other forwards, it seems like the Catalans are going after Manchester City’s Ferran Torres.
Indeed, Diario AS is reporting that the Catalans have had their sights on the former Valencia ace for quite some time now and have been quietly working in the shadows to get him from the Premier League champions.
It is claimed that Barca have been secretly saving up money to make one superstar signing to lead the new project under the recently-appointed manager, Xavi Hernandez. And, it is Torres that has been chosen as the man to spearhead the new era at Camp Nou. The 21-year-old has become the priority for the club, with no Plan B being formulated.
In fact, Barcelona’s sporting director, Mateu Alemany is already in Manchester, to thrash out a deal for the Spanish international, who is currently sidelined due to a foot fracture. Since joining Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer of last year, Torres has performed admirably for the Premier League club, producing a return of 16 goals and four assists in 43 games.
Despite his impressive displays, Torres has had to share game-time with the other forwards at the Etihad. However, as per the report, the ex-Valencia attacker believes that he is ready to take over the mantle of the main man at a big club and is keen on a switch to Camp Nou.
Mundo Deportivo (h/t AS) has indicated that Guardiola has already given the go-ahead for Torres to move to Barca, provided the clubs come to an agreement. The idea is to try and push the deal over the line in January itself. But if that is not possible, the Catalans would land him in the summer.
Manchester City want €50 million for Torres
As iterated earlier, club director Alemany is already in Manchester, along with CEO Ferran Reverter, in order to work out the machinations of a deal to bring Torres to Camp Nou.
SPORT reports that Barcelona already have a total agreement in principle with the player over the transfer. However, they need to work out an arrangement with his club to get the deal across the line.
The Premier League champions are demanding a sum of at least €50 million for the services of the 22-time capped Spanish international, as they value him highly. Given Barcelona’s financial situation, shelling out that sum in one go could prove to be tricky.
The report further adds that Alemany is aware that signing Torres would tick a lot of boxes for first-team manager Xavi and the club. Able to play out wide or through the middle, with a proven pedigree in La Liga and on the international stages, the youngster has what it takes to be a success in Catalonia.
As a result, they are now devising plans to come to an arrangement that would satisfy all parties involved.
Barcelona offer Ousmane Dembele in deal, Man City refuse
So, in order to work out an arrangement, Cat Radio is reporting that Barcelona have decided to offer Ousmane Dembele as part of the deal to sign Torres. However, their attempts have seemingly been shot down by Manchester City.
Dembele is in the final year of his contract and talks over a renewal have not progressed as per plans for the club. While the 24-year-old has been made repeatedly aware of highly valued he is by the current coaching staff, the lure of big contracts from the Premier League is coming in the way of him signing an extension.
With things being the way they are, Barca risk losing him for nothing at the end of the season. And, as a result, they tried to use him as a makeweight in the operation to sign Torres from the champions of England to bring the transfer fee down. But, given his injury record, Man City are wary of such a deal and have turned down the proposal.
So, it would seem like the English giants will stand firm on the €50 million valuation of their prized asset. The question now is whether Barcelona have the financial wherewithal to match that figure and bring Torres to the club.