Barcelona accelerate talks with Xavi’s top transfer target after Champions League exit

    Xavi is desperate for attacking reinforcements (Picture: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

    Barcelona have upped their efforts to sign Manchester City star Ferran Torres in the wake of their shock Champions League exit.

    The Catalan giants suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday evening that saw them fail to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 17 years.

    Xavi has only been in the job a matter of weeks but pressure is already building on him turn things around having suffered defeat to Real Betis in La Liga too.

    According to Spanish publication Sport, Xavi has identified City attacker Torres as his top target in the January transfer window.

    Director of football Mateu Alemany was reportedly in Manchester recently to meet with City to try and thrash out a deal for the Spaniard.

    Following their Champions League exit, Barca are now chasing City to discuss a deal in time for his potential arrival next month.

    The La Liga side are hampered by financial problems though and would need to pay City in instalments in order to seal the 21-year-old’s signature.

    Ferran Torres is under contract with Manchester City until 2025 (Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

    The club may also need to move on the likes of Samuel Umtiti or Philippe Coutinho to free up space on the wage bill.

    It remains to be seen if City would be open to doing business with Torres having been used by Pep Guardiola as a striker this season after the club failed to replace Sergio Aguero.

    Torres, who is under contract with City until the summer of 2025, has scored three goals in all competitions for the club this season but has been sidelined with a foot injury since October.

    For now, Xavi will have to come to terms with playing in the Europa League – a competition he has warned his players cannot become the new standard for Barcelona.

    ‘Barca don’t deserve this. I don’t like this reality that we’re living. I am angry because this is now our reality, and it p***es me off,’ he said.

    ‘But we have to accept it, take it on, we’ve no other option.

    ‘We have to change many things. We have to start from zero and work very hard to get Barca back to where we belong, which is not the Europa League.’

    MORE : ‘Angry’ Xavi reacts to Barcelona’s embarrassing early exit from the Champions League

    MORE : Thomas Muller says Barcelona cannot keep up with intense teams after their Champions League exit

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