Tottenham, Arsenal primed for titanic summer scrap with Real Madrid to sign outstanding LaLiga centre-back

Marco Asensio, Pau Torres, Spain, August 2022

Tottenham and Arsenal are reportedly ready to go head-to-head with Real Madrid in a bid to sign an outstanding La Lga central defender this summer.

The north London rivals are both expected to be on the hunt for new recruits come the end of the season, although it’s Spurs who are more in need of defensive reinforecments than the table-topping Gunners at it stands.

Mikel Arteta’s preferred back four has been in place for much of the season, with William Saliba and Gabriel forming a fine partnership at the heart of that defence.

As for Tottenham, Antonio Conte’s back three has shown to be inconsistent throughout the campaign, whoever lines up there. However, they have improved in recent weeks after keeping clean sheets against Manchester City, West Ham and Chelsea – although there was the aberration at Leicester in between.

But now both clubs have started planning for the summer and who can improve their first XIs. And that has led them to Spain and Villarreal in particular, with long-time Premier League target Pau Torres once again rumoured to be bound for England.

Manchester United were strongly linked with the Spain international before they signed Lisandro Martinez last summer. However, they are now out of running and that leaves the door open for the Spurs and Arsenal.

Tottenham hoping for second time lucky with Torres

Tottenham were thought to be close to signing Torres back in the summer of 2021, only for the 26-year-old to turn them down.

Indeed, Torres admitted at that time that he wanted to remain at Villarreal and play for the club in the Champions League.

He told The Guardian: “The pull of playing the Champions League with the team from my town was bigger. I was clear from the start.

“This is only the fourth time Villarreal reached the Champions League, which shows how hard it is, and it was a dream to play in the competition with my lifelong club.”

Torres has made 24 appearances in all competitions this season. However, his club are struggling to finish in the top four in Spain this season, currently sitting down in 10th place – a full 11 points off fourth.

The report from Spain claims that Villarreal are open to selling the defender for around €50m (£44.3m).

However, the north London duo will need to be aware of significant Real Madrid interest too for a player who is now in the final 18 months of his contract.

And if Villarreal fail to qualify for the Champions League, as looks highly likely, then they are sure to cash in on one of their top assets.

READ MORE: Risky Tottenham transfer gets greenlight, with expendable star serving as bait to bring cost way down