Manchester City star Ferran Torres is set to join Barcelona in January – but a deal might not have been possible without the influence of his apparent girlfriend.
The Catalan giants have agreed to pay a fee of £46.7million with a further £8.5million in add-ons for the forward.
That is despite their well-documented financial situation, which forced Lionel Messi to leave the Nou Camp in the summer, and saw some high-profile names asked to take wage cuts.
However, following the premature retirement of Sergio Aguero, Barcelona are in need of a new centre-forward, and Torres fits the bill perfectly.
Aside from the fact a move to Barcelona offers the Spaniard a fresh start after an injury-troubled spell at the Etihad, there’s one big reason why the man himself might be keen on a switch.
According to Spanish outlet EnBlau, the 21-year-old is in a long-distance relationship with Sira Martinez, daughter of former Barca legend Luis Enrique.
Enrique, 51, spent eight years as a player at the Nou Camp, winning two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey trophies and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
He returned to the club as manager in 2014, winning a further nine major honours, including back-to-back La Liga titles, three consecutive Copa del Rey triumphs and the Champions League in 2015.
While it is unclear how long Torres and Sira have been dating, it has been suggested that the City ace have been pushing for a move to be closer to the daughter of the Barcelona hero – and it’s not difficult to see why.
Sira, who is also 21, is a professional show-jumper in the Catalan capital and a member of the famous Barcelona Royal Polo Club.
Torres might know how to control a football, but Sira is in a league of her own when it comes to horses.
She has competed on both the Sunshine Tour and the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour, posting about her travails on Instagram, where she has 18,900 followers.
The brunette babe likes to post about her equestrian exploits on her social media account, with no mention of her romantic link with Torres.
For his part, Torres is already in Sira’s dad’s good books, having won all 22 of his Spain caps since his prospective future father-in-law took charge of the national side.
Four of those have come this season in what has been an injury-interrupted campaign for the striker, with a fractured foot limiting him to just six appearances for City in all competitions.