Barcelona have confirmed their interest in signing Manchester City forward Ferran Torres after speculation mounted in recent days. The Spanish attacker is said to be keen to return to La Liga and is open to joining the Catalan club, with a potential move as soon as the winter transfer window opens in January.
Torres has over three years remaining on his deal with the Etihad Stadium outfit, and was viewed as a key player this season following the departure of Sergio Aguero. Pep Guardiola used the young Spain international as a more central attacker after the club failed to replace the Argentine marksman in the summer.
The 21-year-old has netted 16 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions for City, but has found regular game time tough to come by. It seemed that the 2021-22 campaign could see him more involved but an injury curtailed his progress after just four appearances in the Premier League, which yielded two goals.
The Spain international, who joined the Manchester club from Valencia in a £21 million deal, is now open to returning to his homeland with Xavi Hernandez ready to give him an opportunity at the Camp Nou. Recent reports suggested that Barcelona’s director of football Matheu Alemany and CEO Ferran Reverter had visited the City Football Academy for talks with Pep Guardiola and other City officials with regard to a move for Torres.
It has now been confirmed by vice-president Rafael Yuste that the Catalan giants are keen on the versatile attacker, who can play all across the front three. He did not go into detail about the talks, preferring to keep them confidential in case the deal does not come to fruition.
“Ferran is a great player and we are working with discretion,” Yuste said, as quoted on the Manchester Evening News. “We have friends at Manchester City and there is good relationship. Ferran Reverter has paid a courtesy call.”
“I understand the questions but, out of respect for the players and the clubs, we cannot give expectations that could end up being positive or negative.”
Unlike in previous years, the move for Torres will not be a straight forward one for Barcelona owing to their crippling financial issues. The club will have to first offload players to raise cash to fund a move for Torres, who according to Sport, is valued at €80 million (£68m) by City with Barcelona willing to fork out €50 million.
There have been talks about a potential player-plus-cash deal involving Frenkie de Jong, who Barcelona value at £75 million. The Netherlands midfielder is one of Barcelon’a most valued players, but their dire financial situation is seeing them consider cashing in on De Jong to help their ease their financial issues.