Liverpool are “keeping a close eye” on 18-year-old winger Ferran Torres, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué.
This morning, Torres signed a contract extension keeping him at Valencia until 2021, increasing his release clause from £21.9m to £87.5m.
The talented teenager has already attracted interest from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea this year, after bursting onto the scene for Los Che.
Torres is predominantly a right-winger but has the ability to operate in several forward positions, demonstrating the type of versatility that Jürgen Klopp looks for in potential signings.
Writing in his Sky Sports column, Balagué said:
“He is a dribbler, fast on the wing, can play on either wing, and he has got ability and intelligence. He can also play inside if needed, so he is a modern winger.”
Liverpool scouts are said to have been monitoring his progression since the Under-17s World Cup in India last year, and have been impressed with his performances in the first team this season.
The Spaniard has made nine appearances for Valencia this campaign and has registered two assists.
Balagué believes that Torres is the best player for Spain at Under-19 level, and is the only one playing regularly in La Liga.
Valencia are said to be accepting offers for the 18-year-old this summer, despite today’s contract extension.
It’s a smart move by the Spanish club, as £21.9m is nothing in the current transfer market, especially for a player with Torres’ potential.
Possible suitors will likely baulk at the new release clause of £87.5m, but effectively it’s just a tactic that protects the club from losing him on the cheap.
Clubs can seek to negotiate a fee with Valencia that’s lower than the release clause, a scenario that is likely to occur in the upcoming summer transfer window.
It’s also worth noting that Valencia are under financial pressure, and need to acquire roughly €35m before June 1 in order to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rulings.
It’s clear Valencia want to keep the teenager, but the increase in his release clause looks to merely be a ploy to ensure that they maximise their earnings from his inevitable sale this summer.
Today’s news won’t put Liverpool off pursuing Torres, as according to Balagué, they “really like” the winger and believe he would be a great addition at Anfield.
Could we be seeing another Torres at Liverpool in the near future?