Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Guardiola exacts revenge on Barcelona for Man City raid with €50m steal

Dani Olmo Man Utd

Manchester City already have an idea of who they could replace Ferran Torres with if he leaves for Barcelona – whom they could exact revenge upon by pinching one of the La Liga side’s top targets.

Barcelona have made little secret of their interest in Torres, despite vowing to remain respectful about another club’s player. Behind the scenes, negotiations are apparently already underway over a complicated operation.

Torres’ value has skyrocketed since City picked him up for around €23m in 2020. They feel the former Valencia forward is now worth €70m.

Barcelona would not be able to afford that fee unless they can orchestrate a swap deal. Midfielder Frenkie De Jong is valued in the same bracket and is of interest to City.

It would soften the blow of losing Torres, who scored 13 goals in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium. However, City would still need to find a direct replacement in their forward line.

To fill the void, El Nacional claim they could try to sign Dani Olmo from RB Leipzig.

Olmo came through the Barcelona youth ranks before moving abroad to begin his senior career. The idea of a return to Camp Nou has been lingering for a while.

However, El Nacional claim Olmo is no longer as keen on joining Barcelona after their appointment of Xavi as head coach.

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The ex-midfielder recently replaced Ronald Koeman in the Barca dugout. Amid the change, there has been an impact on the club’s transfer plans.

Indeed, Barca are now trying to sign Torres, meaning they wouldn’t need Olmo as well. It will force the 23-year-old to explore other options after already agreeing to leave Leipzig next summer.

In a twist of fate, the solution could come from Man City themselves. Pep Guardiola reportedly admires Olmo despite his desire to keep Torres. Upon reflection, though, the feeling is that the Leipzig man has a better work rate and more experience at the top level.

Man City face competition for Dani Olmo

Dani Olmo playing for RB Leipzig

City are not his only other suitors, though. Rivals Manchester United have also been linked. In addition, Bayern Munich could give him the next step in the Bundesliga.

But Olmo would apparently be honoured to play for Guardiola and to test himself in the Premier League.

What’s more, City have another advantage over Barcelona in the battle to sign Olmo. Leipzig are hoping to gain €50m by selling him in 2022. At present, Barca could not afford that but City will be able to.

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Man City and Barcelona in multiple transfer sagas

This is, of course, not the only transfer saga in which the two clubs have been intertwined recently.

Over the summer, Barcelona took Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero as free agents following their releases from Manchester City.

Now, in addition to Torres, there is another member of Guardiola’s squad they are considering taking.

Raheem Sterling has been heavily linked with Barcelona after recently confessing an ambition to play abroad at some stage of his career. Given that his City contract expires in 2023, he may have to make such a decision sooner than expected.

Once again, Barca would have to be clever in how they approach the deal in January. A loan may be the best solution if City can agree to it. They would need assurances over a future permanent transfer to do so.

But Radio Barcelona claim Blaugrana official Mateu Alemany has flown to Manchester to test the waters over a deal for Sterling.

The deal is not straightforward though. Therefore, El Nacional have once again suggested a swap deal. Guardiola would reportedly only sanction the deal if City could get wonderkid Pedri in return.

It seems something Barca would not be likely to accept. Pedri has become a key player for them despite his tender years and will be central to their future.

But the chances of Barca taking Torres and City swooping for Dani Olmo from Leipzig appear somewhat more realistic.

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