FC Barcelona are working on a potential loan exit for misfit winger Ferran Torres according to SPORT.
Torres joined the Catalans from Manchester City at the turn of 2022. Despite the club being cash-strapped, president Joan Laporta agreed a deal worth a fixed £46.3 million ($60 million) plus a further £8.4 million ($11 million) in add-ons as reported by Sky Sports in the UK.
Of the add-ons, £5.9m ($7.6 million) were believed to be pretty much guaranteed. A year and a half since the transfer, it continues to look like perhaps the strangest piece of business Laporta has done since retaking the reins in 2021 via a presidential election win.
Granted Torres played a pivotal part in securing Champions League football the following season when he arrived.
Come 2022/2023, however, he was clearly surplus to requirements for head coach Xavi who preferred either Raphinha or Ousmane Dembele on the left wing before scrapping the need for a wideman in the position entirely.
This was because Xavi switched to a four-man midfield system that sees Gavi played as a false left winger.
If the manager stays with the approach for the upcoming season, which Barca begin as defending La Liga champions, Torres’ future looks grim.
He will be knocked further down the pecking order by youngsters Lamine Yamal, already training with the first team, and Vitor Roque set to join in 2024.
It is well-known that with Barca needing to offload players to navigate Financial Fair Play and bring in fresh faces, Torres, Ansu Fati and Raphinha can be sold for the right amount.
While Ansu Fati’s sale presents pure profit because he is a product of La Masia, it has been difficult to find a buyer for either the 20-year-old or his Spain teammate Torres.
According to SPORT, selling Torres for €40 million ($44 million) is “unfeasible”, which has led Barca to try and arrange a loan assignment for him elsewhere with the option to buy.
This would appear to be the best course of action to pursue. Even if the club that takes him on doesn’t exercise its purchase option at the end of the arrangement, Torres might still attract interest from another party if he recovers his form.
Such a development might maintain his value, or even increase it, whereas continuing to rot on the bench will only see Torres’ price tag continue to plummet with Barca at risk of failing to recover even more of their original outlay.
Barca also might not have to meet his wages in a loan deal – or at least the bulk of them – reported by ESPN as around €12.5 million ($13.8 million) per year, which would help free up much-needed space on the pay roll.