Which Premier League star did Barca turn down before signing Torres?

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald 28 Jan 2022 17:13 CET 3 min read
Barcelona forward Ferran Torres

Barcelona secured their primary transfer target ahead of the January window by signing Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

The Blaugrana are in a terrible state financially, but they constructed a deal that includes variables to be paid at a later date.

With Sergio Aguero forced to retire and Luuk de Jong and Martin Braithwaite allegedly not valued as first-team players at Barca by Xavi, Barca's need for a centre-forward has been clear this campaign.

Torres signed for Man City as a winger but quickly became favoured in the False 9 role by Pep Guardiola, particularly in the 2021/22 season before he suffered a fractured foot while on international duty with Spain.

The player was keen to be one of the faces of the Xavi revolution.

At Man City, Torres did not believe he would ever be considered one of the team's biggest stars due to the presence of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.

The Spaniard wanted to become a key player, and thinks Barca will give him that status.

But, things could have been very different if Barca went with their original plan of signing Sterling.

Why didn't Barcelona sign Sterling?

Previously a key player under Pep Guardiola, Sterling initially dropped down the pecking order at the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign at the Etihad following the emergence of Phil Foden and especially the acquisition of Jack Grealish for £100 million.

The England international found himself in and out of the team, and would openly admit to being interested in a January transfer window move if he didn't receive more game time.

Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling, Man CIty

Whether or not Guardiola was happy with these comments, he eventually did select Sterling more and more and the Spaniard has been repaid by some excellent performances.

Sterling has nine goals and three assists in all competitions.

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Sterling's upturn in form actually coincided with Barca cooling their interest in him.

Sporting director Mateu Alemany was allegedly the man who withdrew Barca's interest in the Man City winger due to fears that he would struggle to adapt to a new league and to Barca's playing style.

Torres, a Spaniard, was targeted instead.

Now, according to ESPN, the plan for Man City is to offer Sterling an extended contract.