Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Barcelona ‘optimistic’ they can complete Man City raid despite two major stumbling blocks

Ferran Torres Man City

Barcelona are ‘cautiously optimistic’ over the capture of a Man City ace despite two potential stumbling blocks, as per a report.

The Catalan outfit have signed two players from Man City this year, in Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia. Aguero only made his debut on October 17 after suffering from a calf injury.

His first goal for Barcelona came in the 2-1 La Liga defeat to Real Madrid. However, the Argentine could soon retire after learning he suffers from a heart condition.

Garcia, meanwhile, has made 15 appearances in all competitions. The Spain international has shown his versatility by operating at both centre-back and right-back this campaign.

As expected, Barca have struggled in attack ever since Lionel Messi’s departure. They are on 23 goals from 15 league matches, 14 behind rivals Real Madrid, who have played one extra game.

Xavi is looking for attacking reinforcements to turn this trend around. Reports suggest he is keen to land Raheem Sterling, although one of the Englishman’s team-mates could move to Camp Nou instead.

Express, citing reports in the Spanish media, write that Barca have ‘cautious optimism’ they will be able to sign Ferran Torres from City.

They already have a five-year contract in place with the 21-year-old, who can operate pretty much anywhere along the forward line. Torres likes playing for the Citizens but is also attracted by the prospect of representing one of Spain’s biggest teams.

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Man City exit resting on two factors

However, the report details two big factors which need to be overcome before a deal can go through. The first is the agreement of a fee. City value Torres at £51m, thanks to his decent return in England – 16 goals in 43 outings.

This would also see them earn a profit on the £21m they paid Valencia for him in August 2020.

Barca are only willing to offer £38m, however. That means the £13m gap needs to be ironed out before Torres can return to Spain.

Xavi’s side also need to watch out for La Liga regulations. Signing a new star such as Torres would force them to reduce their wage bill or boost sponsorship income, according to the report. That means a first-team player may have to be sold.

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Guardiola gives injury update on two stars

Meanwhile, City boss Pep Guardiola has given an update on two stars following the 2-1 Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.

His team was already through to the next round after picking up 12 points. They could not add to that tally as Dominik Szoboszlai and Andre Silva got on the scoresheet in Germany.

Riyad Mahrez pulled one back for City, before right-back Kyle Walker was sent off with eight minutes remaining.

Phil Foden was taken off at the interval, while Nathan Ake was replaced after suffering a back injury.

Guardiola said: “Nathan has a problem with his back – we will see tomorrow. Phil had problems in the beginning of the game with his ankle. He struggled a little bit so he was taken off as a precaution and we put Raheem in his position.”

City’s next game is against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime.

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