Manchester City may be able to take Frenkie De Jong in return if they sacrifice Ferran Torres to Barcelona, according to reports in Catalonia.
Torres has emerged as a potential target for Barcelona recently. Such a transfer would mark a return to La Liga for the former Valencia forward and current Spain international. However, his admirers are having to get creative in how they approach the transfer market.
It has been a challenge for Barca to fund significant deals due to their financial struggles and huge wage bill. In the summer, they largely relied on free transfers. They used that strategy to take two players from Man City: Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.
Now, they are interested in depriving their former boss Pep Guardiola of another of his players. Torres has become a target as they continue to evolve their attack.
Aguero could be forced into retirement due to a heart problem, and the frontline is still undergoing changes in the post-Lionel Messi era. Therefore, Torres could help replenish the options available to new boss Xavi.
But City will not let him go easily. They snatched him for a relative bargain at €23m in 2020 and know they can get a big profit if they sell him.
Barcelona would not necessarily be able to afford him at his increasing price. However, Sport confirm that one way around it could be a swap deal.
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The report (via Sport Witness) claims Torres is of the same value as Frenkie De Jong, who is rated in the €70m bracket. Barcelona are considering sacrificing the talented Dutch midfielder to balance the books further.
Man City have been linked with him in the recent past. They must therefore decide whether their valuations are indeed equal and whether they would be willing to lose Torres to sign De Jong.
Torres scored 13 goals from 36 games in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium. He had three from seven this season before an injury halted his progress.
Barcelona respond to Ferran Torres rumours
Reports last week revealed that Barca and City are already in talks over a potential transfer for Torres.
They have since drawn a response from figures at the La Liga club. Vice-president Rafael Yuste has said: “Ferran is a great player and we are working with discretion.
“We have friends at Manchester City and there is good relationship. Ferran Reverter has paid a courtesy call.
“I understand the questions but, out of respect for the players and the clubs, we cannot give expectations that could end up being positive or negative.”
It followed similar comments from head coach Xavi on Saturday.
“It’s not the right time to talk about signings,” he said after a win over Villarreal. “Not right after the game, which will give us a great boost of morale.”