Barcelona may have struck a $ 62 million deal with Manchester City for Ferran Torres, but the Spanish international is not yet registered at the Camp Nou and sales in the January window will need to be sanctioned to release funds.
The La Liga giants have long been rumored to be preparing for an exodus of fringe players, even before agreeing to bring a highly-rated Spanish striker back to his homeland.
However, Barça coach Xavi cannot say with certainty when Torres will be free to make his competitive debut for the Blaugrana, as more movement is required on the transfer and contract fronts in Catalonia. Xavi has told reporters about his latest addition and plans to fully absorb himself into the fold.
“Ferran Torres is a spectacular signing, both as a player and as a person,” Xavi said in his press conference prior to Tuesday’s game against Barcelona against Girona. “He comes from a major injury, he has a fantastic commitment, he is going to give us a lot, I have no doubts.
“He can play in different positions, I am very happy with the effort that the club has made to achieve it. We will see how the salary cap situation is, if possible immediately. There have to be players who leave. [Ousmane] Dembélé re-signing his contract and lowering his salary will allow us to sign Torres and we hope that this will be the case ”.
Barça signed Torres in an attempt to bolster their attack, and the plan was to pair him with the World Cup-winning Frenchman at some point. After the retirement of Sergio Agüero and the injury of Martin Braithwaite, Barcelona were thin up front and needed reinforcements. Still, the club will need to trim the fat in other areas.
Dembélé is due to reach free agency in the summer and has yet to give any indication that he will commit to a new contract. Xavi remains convinced that lengthy talks with the 24-year-old winger can pay off, as there is thought to be no reason for a player with considerable potential to consider moving elsewhere.
The Blaugrana coach said about Dembélé’s future: “It is a negotiation but the agents are difficult. I still hope that he ends up staying. In Barcelona we have a clear position and we are still in the process, it is not over. We have to wait. I have spoken with [Dembele] again and I believe it is possible and I hope that Ousmane will make the effort to stay. It has a fantastic offer, but there is always a push and pull.
“I hope he stays because he is a player capable of making a difference and can be the best footballer in the world in his position. This is a real opportunity for him and he cannot miss it ”.
Xavi added: “I don’t think I can be in a happier place than here. Barcelona is the best club in the world, the sports project is more important than economic factors, and I have told you that. That is why I am hopeful.
Dembélé could be one of those leaving in January if another club wants to jump in the free-agent process. Other candidates to leave could be Sergiño Dest and Frenkie de Jong, two young players who could generate a solid return.