Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Barcelona are close to striking a deal to sign forward Ferran Torres.
90min understands a deal worth €60m has been agreed to take Torres to Camp Nou in January, with coach Xavi identifying the Spaniard as a top priority to bolster his attack following the recent enforced retirement of ex-City star Sergio Aguero.
Torres’ future was the first matter on the agenda during Thursday’s press conference, in which Guardiola did not shy away from discussing the transfer.
“I hear it was very close but I have not heard from my club that it is already done, nothing official,” Guardiola said. “They are negotiating. When the club confirm, it’s done, but Txiki [Begiristain, director] didn’t say to me it’s done.”
When asked whether he plans to replace Torres in January, Guardiola simply responded: “We are not going to bring in a striker.”
Despite not wanting to lose Torres, the boss insisted that he was never going to stand in the way of the 21-year-old after he admitted that he wants to leave City.
“I always have the feeling when FC Barcelona and Real Madrid knock on the door it’s hard to say no,” Guardiola continued. “In terms of fashion and cities and many reasons. When he knocked on my door and said he wants to leave, I said ‘leave’. I want happiness in my players. If you are not happy, you have to leave. We are not a club where presidents and CEO say ‘no, you have to stay’.
“The players and clubs have to agree, this is business, but if the player wants to leave, they go. It’s not just Ferran, it’s everyone.
“If you want to leave because you will be happier in another place, you have to go. The career for a football player is short. If he wants to leave, and the clubs have an agreement, I am happy for him.”