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Pep Guardiola: Ferran Torres to Barcelona ‘close’ but Man City not set for January buy

In this special year-end edition, Joe Prince-Wright analyzes his favorite plays from 2021, including Mohamed Salah's signature goal against Manchester City at Anfield and Ronaldo's two-goal return at Old Trafford.

Pep Guardiola’s breathing fire Thursday regarding a probable sale of a player in January but says it’s not a precursor to a striker purchase.

The Manchester City boss took a veiled shot at (probably) Tottenham Hotspur in acknowledging that a deal is close to sell Ferran Torres to Barcelona.

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Torres wants to go back to Spain. Barcelona wants him and is willing to meet Man City’s asking price.

Yes, Barca’s also his former club and he loves it more than just about anything in football, but Guardiola is also happy to take a shot at other clubs.

And, at least in the precedent of Leroy Sane’s City exit, Guardiola does have firm footing here.

“Absolutely not, I would be happy. I said many times, when he came to me, if you are not happy you have to leave. We are not a club like other teams when you want to leave and the CEO and president say no. Another issue is the agreement with the clubs, and the players, it’s not my business. If theyplayers want to leave they have to have an agreement with the club. If the club isn’t acceeptable the offer, you have to stay. That’s why players have marvelous agents, they negotiate through the media, through underneath or using the weapons they have to do the deals. They have to do it. It’s not the case for Ferran. For everyone, if you wan to leave because you’re not happy here, you believe you’ll be happy in another place, you have to go. Career is short, one day it’s over. If he wants to leave, absolutely no disappointment. It’s his desire, I’m happy for him.”

Guardiola, however, continues to say that Man City will not add a center forward in January despite what is likely to be a transfer fee for Torres that will finish in excess of $70 million.

“We won’t bring in a striker in January. It’s not done officially, I know they are negotiating, it’s close, that’s all. When the club announces it’s done.”

Maybe the right target isn’t there yet, or maybe Guardiola feels his team can keep pumping opponents without a typical target forward. And, of course, we know he can.

Follow @NicholasMendola