As per the latest reports, Manchester United are looking to press on a deal for Villarreal defender Pau Torres. The Red Devils have reportedly held discussions with the player’s representatives over a potential transfer to Old Trafford in the summer.
Pau Torres has been an important part of Unai Emery’s side, with 47 appearances across all competitions this season (stats via Transfermarkt). The Spaniard had a successful season at Villarreal after making it to the Champions League semifinals in a real underdog story. The La Liga club also knocked out Juventus in the Round of 16.
The 25-year-old has excelled on the left side of the defence in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 set-up. The Spaniard is one of the best in the world in terms of his passing ability, especially as a defender. Torres is an asset in driving the ball forward and distributing play for his club and the Spanish National Team.
The Yellow Submarines managed a disappointing 7th placed finish, meaning they will play in the UEFA Conference League next season. Torres has a contract till 2024, with a release clause of €60m. However, Villarreal’s financial struggles mean they could part with some of their best players, including Torres and at a lower fee.
According to MEN, Manchester United have held initial talks with Villarreal as well as the representatives of Pau Torres over a possible summer move. The report also states that the United board have consulted new manager Erik ten Hag regarding the Spanish defender and decided to move forward with a transfer after he gave the ‘green light.’
Ten Hag believes the Villarreal centre-back would be a great fit for his system. The Dutchman already has club captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Raphael Varane to choose from. Meanwhile, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are expected to depart in the upcoming transfer window.
The Red Devils are eager to wrap up the deal as soon as possible. United are set to meet the player’s representatives, who will travel to England this week, to speed up the process and discuss a potential deal, as reported by The Express. The Red Devils are ready to pay up to €50million to sign the defender.
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Meanwhile, fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be interested in Pau Torres. The Spaniard would slot into Conte’s possession-centric system well at the North London club too. According to Cadena SER (via MEN), the Spurs have submitted an offer €50m (£42.5m) to sign centre-back, the same as United. However, Torres himself has prioritised the Red Devils as his future club.
All of United’s defenders have struggled for form and consistency this season. Maguire in particular has come under fire for poor showings. Ten Hag, however, backed the Englishman:
“I have to repeat that next season is a different season but I think he did a great job,”
“He’s a great player, he’s achieved already a lot really also [with his] contribution to Manchester United. So I’m looking forward to working with him.”
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Manchester United have also reached a verbal agreement with Ajax defender Jurrien Timber. It remains to be seen whether the Red Devils do bring in two players for the same position, or are forced to choose between them.
Torres is 5 years older than the Dutchman. However, he carries more experience of top-flight football. The 25-year-old is left-footed, which offers United a new dimension in the build-up. The Red Devils will hope to complete their first signing of a new era as quickly as possible.
Should Manchester United sign Pau Torres? Does Torres start ahead of Maguire, Lindelof or Varane? Let us know in the comments.
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