Barcelona may have struck a € 55million (£ 46million / $ 62million) deal with Manchester City for Ferran Torres, but the Spain international is yet to register at Camp Nou and sales in the January window will need to be sanctioned to release funds.
The La Liga giants were already looking to move a number of fringe players before agreeing to bring a much-loved Spain international back to his homeland.
Barca boss Xavi is unable to say for sure when Torres will be free to make his competitive debut for the Blaugrana, however, as more movement is needed on the transfer and contract fronts in Catalonia.
What was said?
Xavi told reporters about his latest addition and intends to bring it fully into the fold: “Ferran Torres is a spectacular signing, both as a player and as a person.
“He’s coming out of a major injury, he’s got a fantastic start, he’s going to give us a lot, I have no doubts. He can play in different positions, I am very happy with the effort made by the club to have him.
“We will see how the salary cap situation is, if it is possible right away. There must be some players leaving. If we get Dembele to re-sign his contract and lower his salary, that will allow us to sign Torres and we hope that can happen. “
What’s the situation with Dembele?
Barca signed Torres in a bid to bolster his attack, with the plan being to pair him with a French World Cup winner at some point.
However, Ousmane Dembele is set to arrive in free agency this summer and has yet to give any indication that he will commit to a new contract.
Xavi remains convinced that long discussions with a 24-year-old winger can lead to a positive outcome, without there being any reason for a player with considerable potential to consider moving elsewhere.
The Blaugrana boss said of Dembele’s future: “It’s a negotiation but the agents are tough. I still have hope that he will eventually stay.
“In Barcelona we have a clear position and we are still in the process, it is not over. We have to wait. I spoke with [Dembele] again and I think it is possible and I hope Ousmane will make the effort to stay. He has a fantastic offer, but there is always a showdown.
“I hope he can stay because he is a player who can make a difference and can be the best footballer in the world at his post. It is a real opportunity for him and he cannot miss it.
Xavi added, “I don’t think he could be in a happier place than here. Barcelona are the best club in the world, the sporting project is more important than the economic factors, and I told them that. This is why I have high hopes.
“I just told him we needed him. He’s an important player for us. He knows that the sports project is intriguing. Economic problems do not concern me.
Barcelona’s first outing in 2022 is expected to see them make a trip to Mallorca on Sunday night.