City agree £21m fee for Torres as Guardiola begins revamp
Highly-rated Valencia winger to bolster attack after Sane exit Club in talks to sign defender Ake and are targeting a left-back
Pep Guardiola is close to making his first signing of the summer after Manchester City agreed an initial £20.9million fee with Valencia for the highly-rated Spain Under-21 winger Ferran Torres.
City had lined up Torres as their first-choice replacement for Leroy Sane, who left for Bayern Munich this month, and moved quickly to secure a deal amid widespread interest from across Europe in the 20-year-old.
Although Torres has entered the final 12 months of his contract at Valencia and wants to leave, it still represents an impressive piece of business from City, who could now step up interest in Nathan Ake, the Bournemouth defender.
Valencia are in line to receive a number of add-ons worth as much as €12million (£10.9million), which could value the total deal at around £31.8million – still a relatively small fee for one of the continent’s most promising young wide players.
City are in the process of ironing out the final details of the transfer, although these are expected to be a formality. Torres, who had made clear his desire to play under Guardiola, is expected to sign a five-year contract with the club.
Peter Lim, the Valencia owner, has needed to sell players to raise funds due to the Covid-19 crisis and the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
City have been locked in talks over a fee for Torres and an agreement in principle is understood finally to have been struck yesterday. There have also been discussions over Yangel Herrera, the Venezuela midfielder whom Valencia are keen to sign from City. Herrera has impressed on loan at Granada this season.
The prospective deal for Torres is an early victory for City in what is expected to be a busy summer for the club. Txiki Begiristain, the City director of football, had pledged to move quickly in the market after the transfer window opened on Monday and has stayed true to his word,
with the club wasting little time in replacing Sane, who they sold to Bayern for a projected £54.8 million on July 3.
Guardiola wants at least three signings this summer after surrendering the Premier League title to Liverpool and was keen to bolster his attack following Sane’s exit.
Torres had been linked with a host of top clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool. Those who have worked with Torres have likened his technical ability and intelligence to the former Arsenal winger Robert Pires, albeit with more pace. He tends to play on the right, but can operate on both flanks. He managed six goals and eight assists for Valencia this season.
City have had talks with Bournemouth about Ake, who could be available for a cut-price fee after it emerged the centre-half does not have a relegation clause in his contract. Guardiola could sign two central defenders and also wants a left-back.
Huge potential: Ferran Torres is a Spain Under-21 winger who has been likened to Robert Pires, albeit with more pace