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Fernando Torres and the inefficient transfer market

There is pressure for Atlético to make a decision on El Niño

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

With less than a week until the end of the transfer market and even less time until Atlético Madrid travel to face Barcelona in the game of the season, Fernando Torres' agent José Antonio Martín told The Guardian that "he has an offer that would make him the best-paid in the world. There are nuances. It all depends upon the will of the club."

In the meantime, Torres cannot manage to make an appointment with Diego Simeone to discuss his future, something which Atlético supporters don't like according to Martín: "The fans of Madrid don't want Torres to be told no continually."

FIFA's transfer ban complicates the entire scenario. In fact, if Atlético want to exercise their right to buy him from AC Milan, they have to do it before Jan. 31. So the question is: could Fernando Torres really become the highest-paid player in the world? Maybe. We don't know as it could be agent-speak in order to leverage his position with Atletico Madrid.

Nevertheless, what seems true is that with just a few days to go until the key match of the season, Atleti's main opponent in the title race, Barcelona, could make an offer to buy him. Or so we are led to believe.

The thing is worth more than a reasoning since, according to some experts, transfer markets are inefficient and, as research demonstrates, these inefficiencies are not the failure of the single but a sort of deviation from rationality.

Moreover, there is something else to consider: Fernando Torres is no longer a young man and might never recapture the form he showed in his twenties. It might not matter to Barcelona for what they want him for but it is still worth considering.

However, an inefficient market could be an opportunity for someone. In this case, could Torres be a real opportunity for Barcelona? Of course the same question could be referred to Diego Costa: could he really be the right move for Atleti? In both cases it risks to look like a draw, and mere days remain before a decision must be taken.