Manchester United director of football John Murtough is reportedly willing to sanction the signing of Pau Torres this summer after the Villarreal defender passed what has been described as his ‘final audition’ with flying colours on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old Spain star has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months. Indeed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made signing a top-class centre-back partner for Harry Maguire a top priority this summer. Neither Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof have convinced when handed opportunities that they are long-term options for the club.
As such, the likes of Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde and Torres have been mentioned as potential targets.
But it is Torres who seemingly tops their list. As per recent reports, Torres would be keen to move to Old Trafford.
The centre-half is comfortable bringing the ball out of defence, rarely looks hurried and possesses a cultured left foot. Indeed, United witnessed at first hand what Torres is all about when he helped Villarreal to Europa League glory, at United’s expense.
Torres completed all 120 minutes in Gdansk. He even stroked home a composed penalty as the Spaniards completed a fairytale win. More to the point, he also impressed when under pressure from United’s attack. And while the Red Devils weren’t at their best, Torres did all that was asked of him to keep them at bay.
In the lead up to the game, it was reported that Murtough would use the game as Torres’ ‘final audition’. Now the Daily Mirror suggests that, after passing with flying colours, they are ready to sanction his move.
The article claims though that Villarreal are in no mood to compromise on his price, however, Contracted to 2024, the defender has an exit clause worth £43m.
They would be powerless to prevent him moving on were that price to be met. However, unlike previous reports, they will not consider accepting anything lower.
Nonetheless, Murtough and Co appear keen and it may be a deal United look to trigger sooner rather than later.
Pau Torres hints at summer transfer
Torres last month addressed his future for the first time. Speaking to Sport, he admits to consulting with several friends over a potential move.
“Players who have gone through important clubs, when they talk about an experience they have had, I like to listen to them, both Paco Alcacer and Raul Albiol or Alberto Moreno,” Torres said.
“They tell you things that you have not yet experienced and that you think you would like to experience.”
Despite admitting to talks over a move to ‘important clubs’, Torres insisted at the time his focus remained on a successful end to the season with Villarreal.
He said: “It is a pride to see that your work is reflected in this type of thing that is spoken, but I face it with great tranquility. I am in a great club like Villarreal and from the tranquility I work every day.
“I’m not thinking about that [transfer] either. There is still a lot ahead of me. My short-term goals are the European semi-final and then to be available for Spain.
“Right now I have a contract (until 2024) and I know that I still have room for improvement. I know that I am in a club where they will treat me well. I will not lack anything and that is very important to me.”