So apparently the Fernando Torres to Barcelona rumor isn’t just a rumor, there’s legit belief that this could happen.
This morning it was widely reported – along with the typical baseless summer transfer rumors – that the Blaugrana were set to offer £17 million ($26.7m) for the Chelsea striker’s services.
To which we all nodded and sarcastically thought: ‘Yeah, sure Barca want Torres.’
But now, the highly respected Spain-based journalist, Graham Hunter, is giving the rumor some extra firepower, claiming “[it] is a well-sourced story,” and that Barcelona are looking to rid themselves of David Villa and buy a new center forward.
Every time Torres played for Atletico Madrid against them he scored and terrorised them at Camp Nou. He also scored for Chelsea when they were knocked out of the Champions League.
He is patently full of vim and vigour after an initial difficult time at Chelsea. The Barca president has long coveted him and once advised his board to bid for Torres.
They believe there may be movement at Chelsea and that new coach Jose Mourinho will try to bring in different strikers and that Torres may become available.
The truth of it is that Barca are saying they are ready to move for him and they are assessing their resources and it is a story that may evolve over the coming weeks.
And suddenly, we’re all nodding our heads, saying, ‘Ok, that actually makes a lot of sense.’
Chelsea must feel torn by the predicament.
On one hand, Barcelona’s offer means the Blues will take a £33 million loss on the transfer fee they paid to acquire Torres from Liverpool back in January 2011. Plus, despite an infamously horrid start to his career at Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard’s form dramatically improved this past season, scoring 23 times in all competitions.
On the other hand, £17 million is not terrible money for a player who has drastically underperformed since moving from Anfield two and a half years ago. Plus, with the signing of André Schürrle earlier today, there is a surplus of strikers queing up at Chelsea with Torres, Demba Ba, Romelu Lukaku also on the books.
Making the deal even more tasty is that Chelsea can now take that cash and put it towards the purchase of a world-class striker like Edinson Cavani. Although it has to be noted that by selling Torres to Barcelona the Blues may actually be scuppering themselves in the Cavani sweepstakes as Napoli were keen on a swap plus cash deal between the players.
The other issue to figure out is what will happen to David Villa in this deal?
The Spain striker’s value will plummet if Barca show their hand by buying Torres without a deal in place for Villa. That means we could see the 31 year old transfered out of Catalan at a cut-rate price. You can bet clubs like Tottenham and Arsenal will be sniffing around this deal with great interest.