Injured Man City starlet still keen on Barca move despite UCL elimination–can Guardiola afford to lose him?

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Manchester City ace Ferran Torres remains keen on Barcelona move

According to Mundo Deportivo, via 101 Great Goals (h/t The Mirror), Manchester City star Ferran Torres is still keen on joining Barcelona despite their elimination from the Champions League. The Spaniard is currently injured but an exit could be on the cards in January.

Torres started his career at Valencia as he joined their youth setup as a 6-year-old. He progressed through their academy over the years before making his debut for the senior team in the 2017/18 season. Last summer, Man City brought him to the Etihad for an initial fee of £20.8million. He helped them win the Premier League title back from Liverpool while also playing a role in getting them to their maiden Champions League final, albeit in a losing cause.

Could he now return to his home country? And can Pep Guardiola afford to lose the attacker?

Man City cannot afford to lose any attackers from their squad

The attacker signed for the Citizens last season and ended up playing everywhere across the frontline, including playing as the central striker. He ended up scoring 13 goals and providing 3 assists in 36 appearances across all competitions. The winger got off to a great start this season as he banged in 3 goals and provided 1 assist in just 522 minutes of action. 

Ferran Torres is keen on a move to Barcelona despite their elimination from the Champions League.
Ferran Torres is keen on a move to Barcelona despite their elimination from the Champions League. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Spanish international showcased his versatility in the opening month before fracturing his foot while representing the national team. It was a blow for Guardiola as his fellow countryman was leading the line from the front. The Citizens have often suffered criticism for not having a proper No 9.

They did try to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur this summer, but that move never panned out. They also tried to lure Cristiano Ronaldo but he ended up joining rivals Man United instead. Regardless, the men in blue have managed without a primary centre-forward. They are currently top of the league and topped their Champions League group.

However, it is the business end of the season, especially in the UCL, when their lack of a lethal goal-scorer begins to show. They were eliminated in three consecutive quarter-finals before last season when they lost in the final. Thus, it would not be smart to let Torres leave after they failed to sign a forward and their ambition to win titles.

Moreover, Raheem Sterling is also pushing to leave the Etihad, according to Sport last month (h/t Daily Mail). In such a scenario, it would not be wise to let go of another attacker, especially one who is only 21 and has several years ahead of him.

Man City can demand a massive fee for Ferran Torres if he pushes for a move

Barcelona could certainly profit from a striker like Torres, who does have experience playing in the country. They lost Luis Suarez last season and also offloaded Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann. Sergio Aguero could also hang up his boots after suffering a heart scare. It also bodes well for them that the Man City star is interested in joining them, even though they were eliminated from the Champions League recently.

Ferran Torres has a contract until 2025 at Manchester City.
Ferran Torres has a contract until 2025 at Manchester City. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

However, this might not matter to the Etihad outfit. The former Valencia star committed his future to the club until 2025, and City could charge a proper sum to let the player leave. It remains to be seen how Barca plan on raising sums for signing a player like Torres, given their well-documented financial problems. But a move cannot be ruled out, as one can never underestimate their might.

Regardless, City would be unwise to let go of a starlet so early after signing him. It’s not like he is suffering from game time as he has been trusted to start in the club’s star-studded XI at the tender age of 21. Guardiola also has a habit of churning out the best out of most individuals, and he would be sure to do the same with the Spaniard once he returns from injury. 

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The gaffer is at the club until 2023, and till then, he would want to bag a few more accolades, the chances of which shall only increase with Torres at the club. If the club has a few new faces lined up to bring in during the January window, then it’s a different matter. But as things stand, City are a stronger side with Torres at the Etihad and he is crucial to their depth up front given his talent and versatility.