Man Utd 'looking at £45m star' as Old Trafford priority revealed

It ‘would be weird’ if Manchester United were not still ‘in the hunt’ for Villarreal defender Pau Torres, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Red Devils were heavily linked to the 25-year-old throughout last summer before they eventually decided to opt for Raphael Varane, but another centre-back is expected to targeted ahead of next season.

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According to a recent report by 90min, Torres is ‘back on the radar’ of United following another exceptional campaign for the Yellow Submarine.

Villarreal have leaked just 30 goals in their 31 La Liga games to date, the joint-third best defensive record in the division while also reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

And Torres, who is valued at £45m, has been pivotal to their success. As per WhoScored, the Spain international has won 1.9 aerial duels, made 3.1 clearances and 0.6 blocks on average in his 27 top-flight appearances.

Those figures place him in the top two for each metric when compared to his teammates and highlight why United are believed to be keen to bring him to Old Trafford.

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The 20-time English champions have been tracking Torres’ progress for quite some time now, though, with the Manchester Evening News claiming last term’s Europa League final was viewed as an ‘audition’ for the player by the club’s hierarchy.

Despite Villarreal coming out on top, the 6 foot 3 ace remained at his boyhood club for the current campaign, yet he could finally be on the move when the market reopens for business.

What has Jones said about Torres?

With the transfer window fast approaching, Jones believes it would be strange if United weren’t part of the chasing pack for Torres after tracking him for ’18 months now’.

He told GiveMeSport: “It’s been 18 months now they’ve been looking at Pau Torres, so it would be weird if they weren’t in the hunt for him. And ultimately, centre-back is an area of huge priority in the summer.”

What is United’s current centre-back situation?

It was hoped that Varane would be able to solve United’s defensive issues when he arrived back in August, but several injury and illness complaints have limited him to just 16 Premier League starts.

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Meanwhile, club captain Harry Maguire has suffered from a steep drop-off in form, with WhoScored ranking him as the club’s 13th-worst performer throughout 2021/22.

Therefore, bolstering their option in the heart of defence is believed to be a priority for United, and Torres would provide a natural left-sided option, adding some balance to their disjointed backline.

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