Manchester City may be firing on all cylinders but they’re about to lose a part of their firepower in Ferran Torres.
So how has the impending move come about – especially in light of Barca’s messy finances? Sportsmail takes a look…
Manchester City forward Ferran Torres is close to completing a move to Barcelona in January
What has been agreed?
In principal, a transfer fee that should rise beyond £55million, making Torres the most expensive player sold in Manchester City’s history – just eclipsing Leroy Sane’s departure to Bayern Munich.
As detailed by Sportsmail, the two clubs finalised the terms on Wednesday after weeks of negotiations. Barcelona chief executive Ferran Reverter and director of football Mateu Alemany visited City’s training base in November as they attempted to thrash out the relevant fees.
The transfer starts with a guaranteed payment of £46.7million, with further additional clauses amounting to more than £8m.
City believe that £6m of those will be triggered almost immediately, while they will bank up to £8.5m if Torres is sold by Barca in the future.
An initial fee of £46.7million has been agreed which could later rise to £55m for the forward
How can it be afforded?
A very good question considering mindboggling Barcelona’s £849m debt.
Barcelona’s financial woes are well documented but it’s achievable thanks to a £508m (yes, you read that correctly) loan they have secured from Goldman Sachs. This gargantuan fee is to be paid off over 35 years, with a five-year grace period too to help restructure their finances.
As outlined by Spanish journalist Alvaro Montero too, Barcelona reportedly have some cash reserves to help fund this deal – although clearly not enough without the loan from Goldman Sachs.
Montero also states that the structuring of the installments to City may be over a longer period of time. For example, rather than paying one big fee straight away with smaller installments later; Montero believes that City could be quite generous and allow Barca to pay smaller installments over a larger timeframe.
Barca president Joan Laporta has agreed a £508m loan with Goldman Sachs to aid their debt
So can Torres play for Barcelona straight away?
No, not unless the club lowers its own costs, due to LaLiga’s financial rules. As things stand the club are still outside of the Spanish league’s spending limits and are therefore subject to the 1:4 ratio – if they want to bring in a player on a €4m (£3.4m) salary, someone on €16m (£13.8m) needs to leave, for example.
Torres’ former City team-mate Sergio Aguero, who has since retired, couldn’t register with the Catalan giants this summer until the likes of Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets agreed to taking a pay cut.
The Barcelona board are going to have negotiate more pay cuts if they wish to see Torres on the pitch in…