Football Features

Ferran Torres: Liverpool link-up or Manchester move for Valencia prodigy?

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:12, 13 April 2020

Although football is currently taking a break, transfer news is still flowing, and at the heart of one of the biggest stories is Ferran Torres.

The 20-year-old winger came through the academy at Valencia and has since broken into the first team, where he has been a regular starter this season. When Torres made his debut for Los Che in late 2017, he became the first player born in the 2000s to play a La Liga game, writing his name into the history books.

He was also just the second player born in the 2000s to score in La Liga, beaten only by Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior. Torres’ performances at club and national level, being key for Spain across various age groups, have seen the 20-year-old heavily linked with a move away from Valencia.

Torres, who scored both goals in the final to help Spain win the European U19 Championship last summer, has a release clause of €100m but with just over a year remaining on his current Valencia deal – and no signs of a new one being agreed – Los Che could look to cash in on their prized asset this summer.

But where should he go?

Dream: Liverpool

Although Liverpool boast Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in their front line, going beyond the trio, the Reds look a little thin for strength in depth.

They currently have Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Takumi Minamino as their only other recognised forwards in their Premier League squad – with Rhian Brewster another potential option for next season. As a result, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been linked with signing Torres from Valencia.

The Reds were first linked with Torres earlier this season, when their Premier League title hopes were only just forming, and if they do go on to win the trophy when football resumes, they will want to continue their dominance.

Those links have since resurfaced ahead of the next transfer window, and they have been accelerated by other reports surrounding the future of Salah — who shares a position with Torres. According to reports in Spain, Real Madrid are keen to add Salah to their squad should a move for Kylian Mbappe fall through.

Some believe that Liverpool would be willing to let Salah go, more than Mane and Firmino, with Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas saying: “As much as Liverpool are talking about Timo Werner coming from RB Leipzig and potential other buys, it might be Salah that gets moved on.

“I would be careful about Mane, as I believe even Lionel Messi picked him as one of his Ballon d’Or choices.”

If that is the case, a space would open up for Torres on the right side of Liverpool’s attacking trio, although the 20-year-old is still in his formative years as a player.

Realistic: Borussia Dortmund

Fighting hard against Liverpool for Torres’ signature is Borussia Dortmund, who may be more pressed to sign the Spaniard if transfer business goes against them.

For quite some time Jadon Sancho has been linked with a move away from the German club, with Manchester United and Chelsea among those reportedly interested. Although Dortmund have frequently shrugged off any interest, it seems likely that the English youngster will return to his native country in the summer — opening up a slot for Torres.

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According to the Mirror, Dortmund have already started talks with Valencia for Torres, looking to secure the 20-year-old before other clubs build their interest.

In La Liga this season, Torres has created 21 chances, recorded four assists and scored four goals in 25 appearances. This is a long way off Sancho’s record in the Bundesliga in 2019/20 with 14 goals and 15 assists in just 23 games, but working alongside players like Erling Braut Haaland is guaranteed to improve the Spaniard’s output.

Wildcard: Manchester City

Although Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund appear to be the favourites for Torres’ signature, Manchester City are another club credited with an interest, and the Etihad would be an interesting prospect for the Spaniard.

As things stand Pep Guardiola’s side will be hoping to win back their title next season as Liverpool look destined to clinch the top-flight trophy this time round. The Citizens are currently 25 points behind Klopp’s side, having pipped them to the title last season and cruised through the 2017/18 campaign.

Although City’s biggest problem in 2019/20 has been their defence, there is some unhappiness surrounding their attack with Raheem Sterling currently suffering from a bad run of form and Leroy Sane’s future still in doubt.

Sane had reportedly been close joining Bayern Munich last summer before a knee injury ended the move and saw the German sidelined for several months. There are expectations for Bayern’s interest to return this summer and should that happen, City would be short of a world class winger.

Although Torres is more comfortable on the right, he has filled in on the left on numerous occasions for Valencia — but Sterling would still be able to play in Sane’s place as he has this season, leaving Torres free on the right.

Squawka Suggests: Manchester United

City are not the only Manchester club interested in Torres, with Manchester United also linked with the Spaniard.

Unlike their neighbours, United aren’t blessed with strength in depth up front and are currently undergoing a rebuild, kicked off by the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January.

United are heavily linked with signing Sancho and the Englishman is believed to be their first option, but should Dortmund decide to hold firm, Torres would be an exciting alternative for both club and player.

Even if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men do not get Champions League football once the Premier League resumes, the long-term project underway at Old Trafford — to finally build a consistent, attacking side post-Sir Alex Ferguson — is an interesting prospect.

In the Premier League this season, United have the lowest average age when it comes to starting line ups at 25.2 years, one of just three clubs averaging younger than 26.

This has been helped by the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay all featuring prominently as well as Brandon Williams’ recent breakthrough.

Although Fernandes is on the border of United’s average age, turning 25 last September, the Portuguese’s signing still represents a look to the future, while the likes of Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are all being linked with moves away.

Should Torres join United in the summer, it would allow Solskjaer to field the Spaniard as part of a fluid front three, or even four, with the 20-year-old joining Rashford, Martial and potentially Fernandes in a 4-2-3-1 should Paul Pogba also move on.


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