Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

City decide what to do with Ferran Torres cash as Pep Guardiola identifies replacement

Pep Guardiola, Man City manager

Pep Guardiola is unlikely to splurge his Ferran Torres windfall back into the transfer market, with the Manchester City boss willing to afford one young star in particular more first-team chances, claims a report.

Torres’ 16-month spell at City was brought to an end on Tuesday as the club reluctantly accepted an offer from Barcelona. He returns to LaLiga in a deal that could earn City as much as £54m – and a handsome profit on their original investment. Indeed, his move to the Camp Nou has seen a quite-ridiculous exit clause placed in his contract.

As it went, Guardiola would have preferred to keep Torres. He was getting better all the time in a City and his 16 goals in 43 appearances illustrated his growing important and influence at the Etihad.

However, his desire to return to Spain ultimately saw Guardiola cave in and grant him his wish.

In addition, his struggles with injury this season has seen him limited to just seven appearances so far. Without him, City have been flying and can extend their lead to nine points at the top of the table on Wednesday evening.

And with the goals flowing this season, Guardiola appears to have decided against signing a replacement any time soon.

Instead, and according to The Times, the City boss wants to afford more first-team prospects to Cole Palmer.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has already made 10 first-team appearances this season. Tipped as the next big thing, City’s supporters are already gaining a buzz over his potential.

Guardiola thrilled by Palmer

Indeed, The Times claims City’s staff have been so impressed by Palmer that they have no qualms about him featuring more.

The player can operate as a No 8 or as a No 10. And, with an extended run in the side likely, City will rebuff all loan offers for the teenager next month.

James McAtee – a 19-year-old midfielder – is another midfielder who has caught Guardiola’s eye.

Man City: Vlahovic in, Torres out

City have joined the race to sign the Serbian forward, while talks of Barcelona target Torres go on.

City will, however, consider loan moves for him next month, but only to a club who plays a similar style to City.

Luke Mbete (18), Josh Wilson Esbrand (19) and Romeo Lavia (17) have also recently started training with the first-team too.

Hinting at their youth stars getting more first-team chances, a source outlined their plan to The Times.

“We have been really impressed with the academy,” the senior source told the paper.

City to bank Ferran Torres cash

As a result, the initial £45m banked from Torres’ sale will be banked for now and considered for future investment.

Two men who may come into the equation in the summer window, however, are Harry Kane and Dusan Vlahovic.

City remain strongly linked with the strikers as they consider strengthening their attack for next season.

City’s efforts to prise Kane away from Tottenham failed last summer. And trying to lure him away now may prove equally as tough.

However, they could have more luck with Vlahovic if they pursue that option in the summer.

Reports claim he will likely move on at the end of the season, with the Premier League seemingly his preferred desination.

The Serbian striker is currently operating on a goal-to-game basis and is seen as a good fit for City’s style.

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