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Reports: Barcelona to Sign Ferran Torres From Man City
24/12/2021 13:56:11

Barcelona reportedly has a significant addition lined up for the January transfer window.

Rising Spanish star Ferran Torres is set to return to La Liga from Manchester City, with Barcelona and the English champion reportedly in agreement on a €65 million (€55 million plus add-ons) transfer for the 21-year-old forward. It's a big financial splash for a club mired in debt—and one that required veteran players to take a pay cut to finance the wages for free-transfer signings in the summer—and it's a move that will require some corresponding outgoing sales in order to be completed.

But with Sergio Agüero forced to retire due to a heart condition and with Barça otherwise lacking a consistent punch in the attack, Torres's pending arrival can provide a major lift for the club as it seeks to stabilize and avoid missing out on the top four in Spain. After Tuesday's draw with Sevilla, Barcelona is seventh in La Liga, though only two points out of fourth. Torres, who left Valencia for Man City in 2020 for €23 million, is one of the Spanish national team's top up-and-coming talents, and he'll join the likes of international teammates Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi in Barça's new, post-Lionel Messi nucleus that Xavi is tasked with turning into champions. Torres's four goals led Spain as it qualified for the 2022 World Cup.

Torres has appeared in just four Premier League matches this season—scoring twice—which underscores his desire to leave. He'll take on a much bigger role at Camp Nou, where he'll be a focal point instead of a luxury bench piece. Man City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed Thursday that a move is in the works.

"I know they are negotiating. I think it is close," he said. "I want the happiness of my players. I said many times, if you are not happy, you have to leave. We are not a club like other clubs, the guys who want to leave have to leave.

"You want to leave because you believe you will be happier somewhere else, you have to go. If he wants to leave, absolutely I am not disappointed. If the clubs reach an agreement, I am happy for him."

As for who could make way in order for Barcelona to be able to bring Torres in, U.S. fullback Sergiño Dest, Samuel Umtiti, Philippe Coutinho and Frenkie de Jong are among the chief candidates, according to multiple reports, although that requires ample interest among potential suitors who know Barcelona is in desperate need to sell and thus might not be compelled to give Barcelona the price it's seeking.

As for City, while it may lose some depth in its attack, the significant funds raised by the deal could be put toward the signing of a star center forward, something that Guardiola's side has been lacking and not shy about seeking. It attempted to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham over the summer, and with Erling Haaland on the top of every cash-rich club's wishlist, this move would only strengthen City's position as a buyer for the Dortmund star come the summer. Guardiola did give a flat "no" when discussing whether City would attempt to buy a striker this winter.

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