Barça director: Torres was overpriced
Barcelona director Raul Sanllehi today said Fernando Torres was "overpriced" following the £50million deal which took the striker from Liverpool to Chelsea. Spain striker Torres made the big-money move on transfer deadline day and made his Chelsea debut in the 1-0 defeat against his former club on Sunday.
Sanllehi saw the deal as overvaluing former Atletico Madrid striker Torres. "Yes it was overpriced," he said today. "I know Barcelona would not do that signing. We would not even consider it." Sanllehi was an intrigued observer of the spending in England on deadline day, as Torres went to Chelsea and Liverpool spent £35 million to buy Andy Carroll from Newcastle as his replacement. Chelsea also bought David Luiz from Benfica in a deal worth around £25million.
"I was shocked by the amount spent, especially in the winter time," Sanllehi said. "I felt the amount was very high." Barcelona's financial performance last season was similar to that of Chelsea, who posted £70.9million total losses, yet the only business the Spanish champions did in the January window was in signing PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Afellay for three million euros (£2.55million).
Such is their financial situation, Barcelona recently agreed a commercial shirt sponsorship for the first time in their 111-year history. In December, the club signed a record £125million, five-year contract with the Qatar Foundation. "Let's not fool ourselves, we needed the money," Sanllehi said. Barcelona's only previous deal had been with Unicef, the children's charity.
Speaking to reporters at the annual assembly of the European Club Association in Geneva, Sanllehi said Chelsea's January outlay had stunned everyone at a time UEFA were encouraging clubs to tighten their belts with the advent of strict new rules. "Of course we have a budget, but a budget is like a blanket," Sanllehi added. "If you pull it up to your chin, you need your feet to stay warm."