Saturday, 24 April 2010

More on Torres

Roberto Mancini's Thursday press briefing clearly shed more light on our planned summer move for Fernando Torres than first thought:
"We are a top team and I think all the top teams are interested in Torres but sometimes it depends on the player because they want to play in the Champions League," he said. "If we don't get into the fourth position I think it will be difficult."

Explaining his reasons for identifying Torres, Mancini said: "For me, he is with Carlos [Tevez], [Wayne] Rooney, [Lionel] Messi, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Cristiano] Ronaldo as the best in Europe. Fernando is a fantastic striker; all the teams in Europe would like him"...

Asked if City had an advantage over Torres's other suitors, Mancini replied. "Probably."

Well it's absolutely clear that, if we get into the Champions League, this is Target Number 1. It's worth repeating that if we don't finish fourth then all bets are off, and we can talk about our moves for whichever strikers have managed seventeen or eighteen goals in Serie A or Ligue 1. But while we're still in the hunt this remains live. And an interesting feature of the reports in Friday's newspapers is that they all carry what looks like briefed information from the club on Torres' interest:

When City looked into his potential availability last summer the message from Torres's representatives was that the Spain international was not interested. That, however, changed to a "maybe" when the same calls were made in January and senior officials from Eastlands have been back in touch over the past fortnight.

Of course the move really hinges on Torres' enthusiasm. There's no doubt that if Torres wanted to move that we could agree a fee with Liverpool. So if the club hears from Torres' camp of a flicker of interest then that's good news. But our failed moves for Kaká, Samuel Eto'o and John Terry presumably all started with those players' agents telling Garry Cook that they might be interested, and in fact were sustained by further promises of interest.

If I had to make a prediction now I'd say that we won't get fourth so this will all go away. But if we do, I still can't see Torres joining us. I think his loyalty to Liverpool is too strong. I'd love to be proved wrong. But we'll see.

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