Pau Torres remains on the transfer radar of Tottenham Hotspur, whose head coach Antonio Conte is a major admirer, according to a report.
Conte will want backing in the transfer market for Tottenham in the summer. A notoriously demanding manager, there have been hints of discontent with their January business. But the Italian has insisted he is happy with Spurs, who must now match his ambition.
To do so, they will have to invest in certain areas of the team. One area they may want to reinforce is at centre-back. Their main options there currently are Cristian Romero, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies, with the likes of Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon providing backup.
They were interested in Pau Torres last summer, before Conte became their head coach. The Spaniard was fresh from winning the Europa League at Manchester United’s expense with Villarreal.
Torres has spoken publicly about turning Tottenham down. Despite them offering him better wages, he preferred to play in the Champions League with his hometown team.
But there could be another decision coming up for the 25-year-old. According to Football Insider, Tottenham could make a new move for Torres at the end of the season.
It remains important for them to find a centre-back of pedigree and Torres fits the bill. So much so, that Villarreal will not be letting him go for less than £50m.
The Yellow Submarine have him under contract until 2024, so his market value may begin to decline in the coming months if they cannot get him to renew. Several clubs – not only Tottenham – will be watching the situation.
Tottenham competing with Prem rivals for Pau Torres
The report claims there is interest from elsewhere in the Premier League, but none of Tottenham’s rival suitors are disclosed.
Spurs to sign Stefan De Vrij this summer from Inter Milan
Tottenham ready to sign Stefan De Vrij from Imter Milan this summer for cut price
What is made clear is that Conte is a big fan of Torres and would like to welcome him to north London.
It remains to be seen at which club Torres would have the best chance of continuing at Champions League level. He has performed well when helping Villarreal to the quarter-finals this term.
But they are currently seventh in La Liga, nine points adrift of the top four. As for Tottenham, Conte has lifted them closer to the Champions League berths, but they are still three points behind Arsenal, who have a game in hand.
As he is about to enter his prime years, Torres will be keen to continue at the top level. Tottenham must therefore be more persuasive in any pitch they end up making to him.