The first major piece of business in the winter transfer window will see 21-year-old Spanish forward Ferran Torres move from Manchester City to FC Barcelona. City will get an initial $63 million fee, with a further $12 million in add-ons. A recent bank loan will allow Barcelona to sign Torres, but the Catalans will need to offload players in order to register Torres and comply with La Liga’s financial fair play regulations.
At City, Torres played 43 games, scoring 16 goals since his move from Valencia in August 2020. Torres, who cost City $26 million, has also agreed on personal terms with Barcelona and is said to be welcoming the transfer. Torres started City’s first six matches of the current campaign, but was then dropped to the bench. He hasn’t featured for the English champions since suffering a foot injury while on duty with the Spanish national team in October.
Heavy competition at City
In a private talk he had with manager Pep Guardiola, Torres announced his desire to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere. Ferran found it hard to become a regular starter at City, where Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, and Raheem Sterling are also competing against him.
— Ferran Torres (@FerranTorres20) September 21, 2021
Barcelona’s plan is to build its entire offensive game around Torres and teenage sensation Ansu Fati. The importance Barcelona grants Ferran is surely suggested by the huge transfer fee they’re paying under complicated financial circumstances at Camp Nou. Blaugrana president Joan Laporta has been under constant pressure since rejoining the club following the elections in March.
Barcelona has been far from its best on the pitch and has struggled financially, also losing Leo Messi over the summer. Laporta sought to refresh the club, naming Xavi as the club’s manager in November following Ronald Koeman’s sacking.
The Dutchman was removed from his role after he collected just 15 points from a possible 30 in the opening 10 matches in La Liga, while also getting heavily beaten by both Bayern Munich and Benfica in the Champions League group stage. Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League, but will continue its European adventure in the Europa League in February, playing Napoli.
Now seventh in the Spanish league table, 18 points behind leaders Real Madrid, Barcelona is at a huge +6000 to win the league. They’re not certain of securing a top-four finish either, with bookies having them at -170 to clinch a Champions League seat next season. Betis, Real Sociedad, and Villarreal are expected to make their life difficult, as Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Atletico Madrid hold the highest chances to be part of the top three.