Real Madrid and Manchester Utd target Spain defender Pau Torres

Manchester United want to sign Villarreal defender Pau Torres but face competition from Real Madrid with the Submarine pointing to his release clause.

Real Madrid and Manchester Utd target Spain defender Pau Torres
AFP7 vía Europa Press AFP7 vía Europa Press

Pau Torres has become one of the hottest defensive properties in European football after a stellar season for Villarreal and having cemented his place at the heart of the Spain defence alongside Sergio Ramos ahead of Euro 2020. The 24-year-old Villarreal youth academy product has been attracting the interest of several clubs in need of a central defender and Real Madrid and Manchester United have emerged as the frontrunners to secure his signature should the Yellow Submarine choose to do business this summer.

The Premier League side are prepared to spend big to land Torres and want to tie up a deal before this summer’s European Championship. Reports in the UK suggest that United have already been in touch with Villarreal to explore the possibility of a deal and Spanish radio show El Larguero stated this week that talks are in an advanced stage.

Villarreal will demand full price for Torres

However, AS has confirmed that Villarreal are in little mood to part with one of their prized assets without receiving his full buy-out clause, which currently stands at €50 million and will rise to €65m ahead of the final two weeks of the summer window. A lot may depend on Villarreal’s Europa League campaign, with Unai Emery’s side holding a 2-1 advantage over Arsenal in the semi-finals as they seek a Champions League spot for next season.

While Manchester United have been fairly public about their interest in Torres, Real Madrid have been operating quietly in the background in their own pursuit of the defender, who Zinedine Zidane has identified as a replacement for Raphaël Varane if the Frenchman decides to leave the Bernabéu this summer. Madrid made an informal inquiry about Torres’ availability several months ago but have not yet made any concrete offers for the Spain international, who is under contract at the Cerámica until 2024.