Sport Bombshell: If You Can’t Beat Torres, Bring Him In

In recent years, Fernando Torres was a nightmare to Barcelona defenses.  It seemed like in every encounter El Niño seemed to score and Atlético was a bogey team during the height of the Rijkaard regime.

In a bombshell exclusive, Catalan sports daily Sport revealed that he would be a priority to bring in if the negotiations to renew Samuel Eto’o would fall through.  Although negotiations haven’t started yet and the Cameroonian international’s contract with the Blaugrana ends in 2010.

The Dilemma

Barcelona wants to renew Eto’o as well as the team’s nucleus.  Players like Carles Puyol, Rafa Márquez, and Victor Valdés are some of the others that have negotiations pending with the club brass.  Barca’s current situation with Eto’o is not favorable for them.   The 2009-10 season will be quite a busy one for the league’s leading scorer and the possibility of negotiation will be virtually impossible.  In addition to the possible activity on three fronts, he will have a great deal of international responsibilities that include World Cup qualifiers as well as African Cup of Nations in February.  The latter will have him out of the Catalan side for well over a month.

At the end of the season, the player will have the right to leave on a free transfer, leaving the club completely out of the transaction.  This is why Barca want to negotiate with him now.  Either they renew with him this summer or expect the summer transfer market to heat even more.  There are various buyers that would like to obtain Eto’o’s services. One of his top bidders would be Inter as they expressed the willingness to shell out 30 million euro for the player who could win his second Pichichi.

Eto’o and his management team have not been approached yet, but the forward mentioned in an interview with Vanguardia that he wanted to “not be distracted” with the issue.

The Scenario

There is truth to this report as sporting director Txiki Beguiristain as well as coach Josep Guardiola have met in order to have a list of names for next season’s side.   There is truth that there were three players on the list- Valencia’s David Villa, Lyon’s Karim Benzema, and the aforementioned Torres.  This is a problem that any club would like to have There is also truth that Valencia forward David Villa gave the green light to an eventual transfer to the Catalans; changing his position from last summer after refusing to leave when Real Madrid came calling.

Fernando Torres’ acquisition makes sense, now don’t start saying that it is going to happen.  There is a good chance that it will happen.  Torres’ future with Liverpool could be uncertain given that the future of the club’s ownership.

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