Why Ferran Torres won’t be allowed to join Barcelona in January

Euan McTear 28 Nov 2021 09:15 CET 3 min read
Ferran Torres, Manchester City, 2021/22

When Ferran Torres was linked with a transfer to Barcelona this week, it was reported that personal terms had been agreed with the player and that “all” that was missing was an agreement between the Catalan club and Manchester City. This was always going to be the hardest part of the operation and so it is proving.

Barcelona’s ideal plan was to sign Ferran Torres on loan in January, but MARCA are now reporting that Manchester City don’t see that option as profitable for them. The English club have already explained this to Barcelona directors Mateu Alemany and Ferran Reverter.

Although a loan with an option to buy, with some easy-to-meet variables, would work for all parties, that isn’t possible either because of LaLiga’s economic control rules. The Spanish league analyses all contracts signed and considers these kinds of conditions, such as meeting a low target of matches played, as being so achievable that the deal is already a permanent transfer in accounting terms. For Barcelona, with their limited room for spending, this wouldn’t be viable.

Ferran Torres’ 70m euro price tag

Although Pep Guardiola would be willing to let the 21-year-old Spain international leave the Etihad, Manchester City won’t gift him away. They were able to sign him from Valencia in 2020 for a bargain price of €23m, as the struggling Spanish club held a fire sale, but his value is much higher and they would reportedly want at least €70m for him.

Barcelona certainly can’t afford that right now, not in real terms and not based on the limited spending limit LaLiga has left them with. But, there is hope at the Camp Nou that such a fee could be paid in the summer of 2021 once certain players have been sold.

Key to this, though, is qualification for the 2022/23 Champions League and progression to the last 16 of this year’s competition. Xavi and his team are working to achieve these objectives and, if they do so, Barcelona should have enough money to make a signing of this size next summer. In January, though, it wouldn't be impossible.