Barcelona are close to sealing a 55 million-euro ($62 million) deal for Manchester City’s Ferran Torres, but signing depends on making space on his salary bill first, according to ESPN sources.
Sources told ESPN that Barcelona and City officials met in Seville on Tuesday to finalize a deal worth an initial 55 million euros with another 10 million euros ($11 million) in potential additions.
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However, Barcelona still has to do to get the deal done. They are hampered by financial constraints in LaLiga and they must transfer players before they can make new signings.
Their spending limit for the season has been set at 97 million euros ($110 million) by La Liga, which is well below their salary bill, but they are allowed to spend 25% of any savings they earn, whether it’s in wages or transfer fees.
Sergio Aguero’s retirement has provided some scope but they still have a lot of work to do to be able to sign in January. The club is looking for new clubs for Neto, Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho, three players who are considered redundant, but who will also listen to offers from other players.
ESPN revealed on Tuesday that it is even open to offers for US international Sergino Dest after Dani Alves arrived on a free transfer.
Sources first told ESPN in November that Barcelona had intensified their talks with City over the transfer of Torres, a player they have always been interested in.
New coach Xavi Hernandez quickly made it clear he wanted offensive reinforcements in January, and Torres emerged as Barcelona’s first target, with director of football Matteo Alemani traveling to Manchester to speed up negotiations last month.
Sources told ESPN that Torres, who joined the Premier League from Valencia only for 23 million euros ($26 million) in 2020, has informed City coach Pep Guardiola of his desire to return to Spain with Barcelona.
Barcelona’s financial situation now is the only thing holding back the deal. The club’s total debt is more than 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) and Alemani recently said they were unable to sign new players in January while meeting LaLiga’s salary cap.
Torres scored 16 goals in 43 games with City and 12 goals in 22 games with Spain.