MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 23 – Pep Guardiola confirmed Ferran Torres is on the brink of a move from Manchester City to Barcelona on Thursday after revealing the Spanish international had asked him to leave the English champions.
Despite their financial struggles, the Catalan giants have reportedly agreed a deal worth an initial 55 million euros ($62 million, £47 million) for the 22-year-old.
Torres has scored 16 goals in 43 appearances for City since joining from Valencia last year.
He won the Premier League, League Cup and reached the final of the Champions League during his only full season in Manchester.
But his second season at City has been disrupted by a fractured foot that has kept him out since October.
“I always have the feeling when Barcelona and Real Madrid knock on the door it’s hard to say no,” said Guardiola, himself a former player and coach of Barcelona.
“When he knocked on my door and said he wants to leave, I said leave.
“I want happiness in my players. If you are not happy, you have to leave. We are not a club where presidents and CEOs say ‘no you have to stay’.
“The players and clubs have to agree, this is business, but if the player wants to leave, they go.”
Guardiola also confirmed City will not be in the market for a striker in the January transfer market despite missing out on a move for Harry Kane in the summer window as a successor to Sergio Aguero.
City have coped without a natural number nine so far this season as eight consecutive wins have taken them three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Guardiola’s squad has so far avoided the coronavirus outbreaks that have led to 12 Premier League games being postponed over the past two weeks due to rising case numbers caused by the Omicron variant of the virus.
Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were dropped for last weekend’s 4-0 win at Newcastle after Guardiola was less than impressed in their performance at training following a night out in Manchester the previous midweek.
And Guardiola stressed the need for players to be even more professional in the coming weeks to help ensure as many games as possible go on.
“We are living special circumstances in our lives, that we cannot live free like in the past, due to pandemic situation,” added Guardiola.
“Everyone has to try to follow as much as possible. We are not alone in this world.
“We have to be careful but you can take (care) and (still) get positive. We are exposed, so just be careful.”