Manchester United are “obsessed” with signing Pau Torres, according to a Spanish report, but Villarreal are desperate to keep hold of their centre-back.
Torres has risen through the ranks at Villarreal to become a key first-team player. After returning from a loan spell with Malaga in 2019, he has established his place in the side. As his opportunities have increased, so has his number of admirers.
Man Utd are among Torres’ main suitors, along with the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. The defender is thought to be keen on a move to the Premier League, though.
There have already been claims that United have established contact over his potential signing. However, AS have now clarified the situation.
According to the Spanish outlet, Torres is indeed firmly on United’s radar. Their interest goes to the point where they are “obsessed” with him. However, Villarreal are not so keen on letting him go.
The report denies that there is any agreement in principal between the two clubs. Furthermore, cold water is poured on the idea that Torres’ entourage have already accepted Old Trafford as his next destination.
Villarreal will thus continue to demand his €50m release clause be paid in full to let him go. That clause will rise to €65m in the final fortnight of the transfer window.
Real Madrid are also said to have made enquiries for Torres. Their approach has been more “discreet” and only went so far as an “informal consultation”, but they have registered their interest in the Spain international.
However, it seems Torres is not thinking too much about a move at present. He remains under contract until 2024.
As things stand, there have been no formal offers for his signature.
Torres one of four centre-back targets
Previous reports have indicated that United are searching far and wide for a new centre-back. As such, Torres is not their only target. In fact, they have a four-man shortlist.
According to Eurosport, United are also considering RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate, Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane.
RB Leipzig ace Konate has emerged as an option after Liverpool ended their interest in the Frenchman.
Varane has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford and Real Madrid’s financial issues make him a feasible target.
Kounde continues to be linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs after impressing for Sevilla since signing in 2019.
Centre-back is a priority because there are doubts over the futures of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones. Victor Lindelof has been Harry Maguire’s main partner this season, but inconsistency remains.
Therefore, the Red Devils want to sign someone more reliable. Torres may be their man – but they will have to splash the cash to sign him.