Man Utd stalling over star defender raid amid chances of cheaper deal

Date published: Saturday 13th March 2021 10:51 - Jonny Whitfield

Geronimo Rulli, Pau Torres Villarreal v RB Salzburg February 2021

Manchester United have Villarreal’s Pau Torres on their transfer radar but realise the chances of a cheaper deal for the centre-back, a report claims.

The Red Devils are supposedly eyeing a new star defensive signing in this summer’s market.

However, they want a top left-footed centre-back to work alongside club captain Harry Maguire. Indeed, such targets are few and far between across Europe and invariably do not come cheap.

Torres sits among the top left-footed players across Europe’s top leagues and previous reports that United chiefs have placed the 24-year-old firmly on their radar.

According to ESPN, United have had contact with Villarreal in ‘recent weeks’ to register their interest.

Spain international Torres reportedly has a €65million release clause in his contract. However, there is a chance of a cheaper deal.

Unai Emery’s team need to qualify for European football to ensure that Torres retains his value.

But the La Liga club’s best chance for now is by winning the Europa League. They sit seventh in the Spanish top flight and have lost their last two matches.

What’s more, they sit eight points behind fifth-placed Real Sociedad with 12 games of the campaign remaining.

In Europe, meanwhile, Villarreal put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals after beating Dynamo Kiev 2-0 away in Thursday’s last 16 first leg.

Nevertheless, they would face a tough task to win the Europa League, with Tottenham and United both looking to join the hat for the last eight.

ESPN does not state the price Torres would be available for if Villarreal fail to qualify for Europe next season.

However, they state that the exit fee will be ‘less’ than his current release clause.

Man Utd reportedly watching Roma star

As well as Torres, United are also reportedly watching Roma centre-back Gianluca Mancini.

The Italy international is currently enjoying a fine season in Italy.

Last season, he was Roma’s main partner to a familiar face to Premier League and Man Utd fans in particular, Chris Smalling.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Chelsea watching rise of €30m Serie A defensive powerhouse

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