Man Utd establish firm contact as €65m Spain star’s transfer nears

Alvaro Morata, Pau Torres Spain

Manchester United are reported to have made initial contact with the agent of Pau Torres as they seek to bring the defender to Old Trafford this summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to have been given the green light to spend this summer. As such, the United boss is looking to strengthen in three positions. On his wanted list are a new striker, a right-back and a centre-half. Indeed, a number of big names have been mentioned as possibles to come in as a partner for Harry Maguire.

Villarreal defender Torres has reportedly emerged as Solskjaer’s No 1 target to fill that void. Those hopes have been significantly boosted amid claims the 24-year-old is keen to move to Old Trafford.

Those hopes were given another significant boost over the weekend. That’s after it was claimed Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had been left angry after getting wind that United had won the race for Torres.

Now AS appears to have verified those claims. They claim United officials have been in touch with Torres’ agent to open talks over a prospective summer move. That United have already made their interest known appears to put them firmly in the driving seat over his signing.

Torres has a €65m exit clause in his contract at El Madrigal. However, financial pressures suggests Villarreal could sell for less and AS reckons a deal can be struck at nearer the €45m mark.

Better news for United comes amid claims that Villarreal could also consider taking Eric Bailly as part of the arrangement.

Mark Bosnich agrees with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to rest players

Mark Bosnich agrees with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to rest players

Mark Bosnich believes Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was right to rotate his squad in their FA Cup defeat to Leicester, after playing his strongest side against AC Milan in the Europa League.

United could have a further ace up their sleeves in the form of Eric Bailly. The defender could be used in part exchange as part of the deal, as we revealed back in November.

Bailly, for his part, has spoken of his unhappiness at his situation at Old Trafford.

Torres has featured 32 times for Villarreal this season keeping nine clean sheets and scoring three goals.

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Raiola admits to Haaland mistake

Mino Raiola has given nothing away regarding the future of Erling Haaland, but he has admitted he may have made a mistake when sending the striker to Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland only moved to Dortmund in December 2019, but he could yet make his next step at the end of the season. He joined the Bundesliga side for just €22.5m with Manchester United heavily interested in him. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who worked with the forward at Molde, made a personal trip to persuade the 20-year-old to sign for the club. Raiola though had other ideas, with United understood to be unwilling to pay the agent’s demands.

Erling Haaland scores v Sevilla in Champions League

His red-hot goalscoring form though has continued for BVB with 49 goals from his 49 outings. That has led to suggestions he could be on the move again with United, Manchester City and Chelsea all said to be interested in him.

The super agent did though suggest that he may have got Haaland’s move to Dortmund wrong.

He told The Athletic that Haaland has developed quicker than anyone could have imagined: “With Haaland, everybody was wrong. He did things much quicker than everybody imagined. Haaland is in front of his own development. He is ahead of his own schedule.

“Maybe I was too careful when I said, ‘Oh no, let’s move to Dortmund instead of I-don’t-know-where’.

“This boy — I’m 100 per cent convinced and everybody’s convinced — can move to any club, wherever he wants, already on this level. And he could have done that last year.”

READ MORE: Raiola: ‘I don’t care if I never do another player with Man Utd’