Manchester City have completed the signing of Valencia winger Ferran Torres in a deal worth an initial £21 million ($27m).

The 20-year-old has signed a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium and will join up with Pep Guardiola’s squad for the 2020-21 season.

Valencia could receive a further £11m ($14m) in add-ons for the Spain Under-21 international, who was in the final 12 months of his contract.

City beat a host of top European clubs to the signing of Torres, with Manchester United, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid all expressing interest.

But the highly-rated forward was keen to work with Guardiola.

Torres gave an interview to Marca.

Here are the excerpts:

When did you first hear that Manchester City wanted you?

I was very nervous that day. My agent was in Manchester with the club and he called me to tell me they had an agreement and I’d play for City.

It’s a club, who want to win everything so I think I’ll improve a lot here.

What about Pep Guardiola? What did he say?

He congratulated me and gave me peace of mind.

It calmed me down and made me want to sign even more.

What’s your first objective?

To work, adapt quickly, and learn.

The more competition you have, the better you become. You always have to be at your best because otherwise, you’ll be on the bench.

Now that you’re officially a City player, how do you feel?

On the one hand, excited and happy, but at the same time sad because I’m leaving my club. Valencia gave me everything and trained me since I was seven.

I’ve had hard times there and that’s why I ended up leaving, but I want to emphasize that I’m very grateful to Valencia and will always support them.

The problem is that there are people within the club and a few journalists who are determined to damage my image. I don’t want to leave on bad terms because I’m a Valencia fan.

Have you felt attacked?

When the club decided to put me in the first team I began to come under pressure and criticism. It wasn’t just me, but they wanted to harm my representatives and my family. The same people who now campaign against me said then that I would fail, which hurt a lot at 17.

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But I have to say that there were other journalists who treated me with love and respect. There are, though, club employees working to smear my image.

You seem hurt. Do you think you can return to Valencia in the future?

I’m sure I can. I refuse to think otherwise.

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Even if there are crooked people. A lot of them won’t be there in a few years and I’ll have shown that I deserve to return.

What do you have to say to the fans?

Thank you for everything. I always felt your support and encouragement. I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone with my departure, that was never my intention.

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But what has happened has forced me to take a different path from the one I always dreamt of.

When did you decide to leave?

I started thinking about it last summer after the European Under-19 Championship. The club told me personally that they weren’t counting on me. They literally said that I was the fifth winger in the squad, that reinforcements were coming and other players from other positions were ahead of me.

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It was a very hard blow for me, but what was worse was that they even put me on the market and offered me to teams in Spain. There were calls from 12 LaLiga Santander clubs, including Levante and one Segunda Division club. That’s when I started thinking about leaving.

Did you ever consider a renewal? What were the conditions?

One was for Peter Lim to be involved so that I knew I was important, another was to be captain as I had seen other clubs do, [Atletico Madrid] with Fernando Torres, for example, and the third was to be one of the highest-paid players. I wanted two of the three, but none were fulfilled.

Do you think that you did what you could to stay in Valencia?

Absolutely. I wanted to stay and I put forward the conditions to do so. They weren’t above the club’s means.

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I know they’re not in the same position as big European clubs, but I was able to lead that project and wanted to be treated as such. The club didn’t want to keep me.

City came along to end it.

Everything was done late with City. The first contact was with Valencia and they said that they wanted to speak with us. Then we reached an agreement before they negotiated with Valencia.

There are rumours that you have a bad relationship with Dani Parejo. Are they true?

After three years I’m more mature and mentally stronger. But at 17, no. He’s a great player but I never had a relationship with him. When I joined the first team at 17, a number of weeks passed before he said a simple ‘good morning’ to me.

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He wasn’t a good captain with me. The worst of it came after Marcelino’s departure when [Lee] Kang-in and I were seen as culprits in the dressing room and they stopped talking to us for weeks.

What do you think of Kang-in’s situation?

I love him a lot and he knows it. I’ve helped him a lot and he’s going to be a great player. I hope they don’t make the same mistakes they made with me. He needs love and trust because he’s been through hard times and has felt alone.

And Marcelino?

He’s a great coach and I owe him a lot. I hope he coaches a great team.

City have a big Champions League tie against Real Madrid.

City did well at the [Estadio Santiago] Bernabeu. Madrid are a great team but I don’t think they’ll get through.

Before we finish, were there offers from other big teams?

Yes, very big teams called but I have to keep that to myself.

 

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