Ferran Torres’ signing for Manchester City from Valencia, which will be made official soon, puts an end to the rumours over the past few months linking him to just about every major club in all of the biggest leagues.
He has had offers from Juventus, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – and got calls from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United – but it is City about to finalise a deal estimated at about 25m euros (£22.6m) plus 12m euros (£10.9m) in extras.
The time has come for the 20-year-old – a prodigiously talented, lightning fast winger – to seek his fortune elsewhere in the footballing world.
A bargain for Man City?
Valencia wanted much more for the youngster but were conscious that he could have left for free in a year’s time – Manchester City have got themselves a bargain.
When I met up with him last week in Valencia, I asked him whether he was learning languages.
“Yes, you have always got to be learning languages because you never know where football will take you tomorrow…. but above all I am learning English, because English is essential whatever part of the world you are in,” he said.
So highly is Torres rated that many at the club thought a new Valencia side could be built around him. But, as always seems to happen at Valencia, politics and finance intervened.
With contract negotiations dragging on, the club decided not to take a chance – and have accepted a transfer fee instead.
Yet Torres retains a loyalty both to the club and his home town of Foios, around six miles to the north of Valencia’s Mestalla home.
Just as he will have no criticism of Foios – “I was raised there, have all my friends there and the truth is I feel very much at home there” – neither will he hear a word said against the club he joined as a seven-year-old.
He recalls the first time he put on the Valencia kit just before going to training as a kid.
“I remember putting on the shirt then going into the bathroom looking at myself almost in a daze,” he said.
“I was just wearing the shirt and my underpants and I was just staring at the shirt and saying to myself: ‘What am I do