Football

Manchester City sign Valencia winger Ferran Torres

Ex-Valencia star hits out at former team and captain Parejo, suggesting he wanted to stay at boyhood club

Manchester City have announced the signing of Valencia winger Ferran Torres on a five-year deal as manager Pep Guardiola looks to bolster his attacking options.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, City's first signing of the summer transfer window, has penned a five-year contract for a reported initial fee of £20.9 million (S$37.6m).

Torres joins City as a replacement for Germany winger Leroy Sane, who moved to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich last month for £40.9m.

"Every player wants to be involved in attacking teams and Manchester City are one of the most attacking in world football," Torres told the English Premier League club's website.

"Pep encourages a really open, aggressive style, which I love, and he is a manager with a proven track record of improving players. To have him overseeing my development is a dream."

Guardiola is keen to strengthen his squad following the loss of their EPL title to Liverpool - they have also agreed a £41m fee for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake, who is set to undergo a medical.

On Torres, City director of football Txiki Begiristain said: "His technical qualities are exactly what we are looking for in a winger.

"He is quick, direct, can create space with one movement and is capable of producing match-winning moments."

Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur forward Terry Gibson, who is now a Spanish football pundit, described the winger as "potentially a superstar".

He told talkSPORT: "He's lovely to watch and the Premier League will enjoy having him.

"He's predominantly right footed but can easily control the ball and manipulate the ball with his left. He's a dribbler, a wide player with pace.

"He has played behind the centre forward as well. So they are getting a stunning player.

"He's probably very similar (to Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez). In terms of quality as well, he will surprise a lot of people. He's an ideal replacement for Sane...

"He can improve in terms of what he does when he gets back in those defensive positions but I think he's going to enjoy playing in a team that has 60-70 per cent possession every week...

"He could potentially be a superstar."

Torres made 44 appearances for Valencia last season, scoring six goals and bagging seven assists.

PARTING MESSAGE

Valencia tweeted: "You arrived at our Academy at 7 years old. We have been by your side through all this time seeing you grow as a footballer and as a person. At this point you have decided to separate our paths. @FerranTorres20 , we wish you the best with @ManCity."

Torres, however, hit out at Valencia in an interview with Marca. He said of captain Dani Parejo: "I don't think he was a good captain with me. The worst came with the departure of (former manager) Marcelino. (Lee) Kang In and I were used as culprits in the locker room."

The 20-year-old also insisted that he was open to staying at his boyhood club, but they did not accede to his demands.

Said Torres: "One is that (Valencia owner) Peter Lim was involved in my renewal, to show me that I was important to the club.

"Another was to be a captain, which was my dream...

"And the third was to be among the highest-paid players on the squad.

"I know that Valencia are not in a position to pay the same as the big European clubs but I was able to lead the project and I wanted to be treated as such, that the club made an effort to keep me. They just didn't want to, period." - AFP

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