Guardiola: Torres wants to leave City, I'm happy for him
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he will not stand in the way of Ferran Torres' expected transfer to Barcelona, saying he is happy for the forward.
The Spain international has been heavily linked with a move to Barca, who will reportedly pay an initial €55million (£46.7m) and as much as €10m (£8.5m) in add-ons.
Torres, who arrived from Valencia 18 months ago, has made six appearances for City in all competitions this season, scoring two goals and looked sharp at the start of the season.
However, his momentum stalled after suffering a fractured foot while on international duty at the Nations League in October.
Guardiola acknowledged the opportunity to join his former club Barcelona is difficult for his compatriot to turn down, but he said City will not seek a replacement for the 21-year-old, who has netted 16 times in 43 appearances for the club.
"If you want to leave because you're not happy here and you believe you'll be happy somewhere else, you have to go," Guardiola said.
"A career is short and one day, it's over. If he wants to leave, absolutely no disappointment. I'm happy for him.
"Always, I have the feeling if Barcelona and Real Madrid want a player, it's difficult to say no. They are the strongest teams in the world.
"He knocked on my door and said he wants to leave; I said leave. I cannot push the players or convince the player if his mind is elsewhere.
"We won't bring in a striker in January."
City are due to welcome Leicester City to the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.
The two scheduled early kick-offs were postponed on Thursday, after six of last weekend's 10 Premier League games were also called off.
The league confirmed that scheduled fixtures would continue across the festive period during an emergency meeting between top-flight clubs earlier this week.
Applications for postponements are being considered on a case-by-case basis with emergency measures reintroduced in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in England.
"What we want is for people stay safe and well, social distance and wear masks," Guardiola added.
"The welfare for the players should be the most important.
"We are living in special circumstances that we cannot live free like in the past. The pandemic is still here. Everyone has to try to follow as much as possible.
"What the league decides, we support."
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