It’s official: Barcelona announced the $62 million transfer deal for 21-year-old Manchester City forward Ferran Torres. Now that he’s been acquired, the club needs to figure a way to register him in accordance with La Liga’s financial fair play rules.
Reports from Spain indicate that Man City could receive an additional $11 million in performance-based payments and incentives based on the player’s Champions League and Ballon d’Or achievements with Barcelona. The English club was reported to be seeking $80 million for a player it acquired for $28 million in 2020.
The Spain international, who hasn’t played for City since September due to a foot injury suffered while on national team duty with Spain, is set to join Xavi’s side in January when the transfer window opens. The question is how the financially-troubled Catalan side can make such a signficant investment given the tight budget with which it’s operating in 2021-22.
According to reports, Barcelona will now have to focus on reworking existing contracts or offloading players from its first-team squad as it looks to appease La Liga’s financial fair play rules before it can officially add Torres to the squad.
Ferran Torres is ours until 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣7️⃣!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 28, 2021
What is the Ferran Torres transfer fee?
It has been widely reported that Barcelona will pay Man City the $62 million transfer fee over four installments beginning this coming summer.
The player signed a five-year deal with the Blaugrana with a release clause set at over $1.1 billion, ensuring that Torres will be at Barcelona for the long haul.
Valencia, meanwhile, will receive 10 percent of the transfer fee, having added that stipulation to its agreement with City on the original 2020 transfer, plus an additional four percent from the potential performance bonus.
Barca’s sporting director Mateu Alemany handled the negotiations for the Spain international, who was keen to return to his homeland after leaving Valencia in August 2020.
Manchester City’s leadership also has close ties to Barcelona from ex-player and manager Pep Guardiola to former Barcelona VP and current Man City CEO Ferran Soriano and Man City director of football Txiki Begiristain.
How can Barcelona afford to pay for Torres?
Barcelona’s financial woes have been well-documented, and according to Spain’s AS, players will now have to leave or contracts need to be reworked to ensure Torres can be registered for La Liga competitions.
Due to revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the club had its salary budget set at $113 million by La Liga for the 2021-22 season (down from nearly $450 million). That figure is based on a La Liga formula that takes revenue, costs and debts into account and ensures teams only spend 70 percent of revenues. For teams that are over their assigned salary budget, they can only spend 25 percent of any new revenues or cost savings.
The slashing of its salary budget made it even more surprising that Barcelona joined Real Madrid in declining to accept a cash injection loan from venture capital firm CVC, which provided all the other La Liga teams with timely resources in exchange for a share in media rights. It remains to be seen whether Barcelona will go back on its original decision and come to an agreement with CVC.
Sergio Aguero’s decision to retire due to a heart condition will free up his salary, with others needing to be offloaded, either on loan or, more preferably, in permanent transfers.
Barca will reportedly listen to offers for many of their first-team squad, aside from a few untouchables including the likes of Pedri, Gavi and Ansu Fati. Big-earners, including Samuel Umtiti and Philippe Coutinho, are among those in the shop window, and rumors are that Sergino Dest, Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong and Luuk de Jong could be among the potential transfers out.
There are also a few players with expiring contracts this summer that will eventually help clear space, including Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, though Dembele is said to be keen on signing a new deal at Barcelona at a reduced payscale.
The club also still must leave room to register Dani Alves in January, with the veteran Brazilian right back having arrived after being released from Sao Paulo this past summer. Barcelona was unable to register him for official competition at that time due to the struggling financial situation.
Man City profits on Ferran Torres
Torres represented great value when he joined Manchester City in the summer of 2020 but he has struggled to force his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans. Competing for a place as a winger with players such as Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva was not easy, although he often made his biggest impact as a central striker.
For a player who made 43 total appearances for the club, flipping Torres for nearly double what he cost just a year and a half ago can be considered a massive win for the Premier League side.
21y 75d – Ferran Torres is the youngest player to score a league hat-trick for a Pep Guardiola team, with the previous-youngest being Lionel Messi against Tenerife in January 2010 (22y 200d). Company. pic.twitter.com/6CMzqLsGFL
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 14, 2021
During his brief Man City career, Torres played in 28 Premier League games, scoring nine goals and assisting three others, while also contributing four goals across seven Champions League appearances.
He had more goals for Spain’s senior national team during that span with 12 goals in his 22 caps.