Manchester United are interested in signing Villarreal star Pau Torres as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues his search for a central defender ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Pau Torres, 24, joined Villarreal from Malaga in the summer of 2019 and has since established himself as a first-choice option in defence in the last two seasons. He has enjoyed another solid campaign with Villarreal, scoring twice in 26 La Liga appearances. The Spaniard, a mainstay in Unai Emery’s backline, has been a crucial figure in the Yellow Submarine’s progress to the Europa League quarter-finals.
The 24-year-old’s impressive performances has also seen Manchester City take notice, while he is also rated by figures at both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Torres signed a five-year deal with Villarreal back in 2019 and it is believed that he has a release clause of around £43m included as part of the contract.
Man United have shown signs of improvement under Solskjaer this season
Manchester United had a really awful start to their 2020/21 league campaign as they lost twice in their opening three games, scoring five goals conceding 11 in the process. In contrast, they had a superb beginning in the Champions League where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men defeated Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in back-to-back group-stage games.
However, the Red Devils’ form have since improved drastically in the Premier League and they are second on the table. Having been eliminated from the Champions League in October, Solskjaer and co. would want to reach the Europa League final in Gdansk and lift the trophy after last year’s disappointment in the semi-finals against eventual winners Sevilla.
Solskjaer will not pass up the chance to win his first trophy as a manager at Old Trafford, with the Norwegian’s side up against an in-form Leicester City side in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday. While winning a trophy or two this season would be tangible evidence of the club’s progress in the last 12 months, Solskjaer believes the real progress lies in the Premier League.
United have 12 more points from 29 games than they did at the exact same juncture last season and have also netted 12 more goals. This simply shows the Red Devils are on the right track under the Norwegian tactician.
Solskjaer wants to sign a centre-back this summer
Solskjaer is prioritising a move for a new central defender as he aims to remodel United’s defence ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
The jury is still out on Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as a pair at the heart of United’s defence, even though the duo have been solid of late. Eric Bailly remains unreliable due to his recurrent injury problems, while Phil Jones hasn’t played in over a year and is out of contract at the end of the season. Axel Tuanzebe hasn’t inspired much confidence when given opportunities, leaving Solskjaer with no choice but to look out for a centre-back this summer.
Should Man United go for Pau Torres?
Pau Torres is one of the top defenders in La Liga and it is no surprise his progress is being tracked by a number of European clubs, including Manchester United.
The Spanish international is a tall, strong and ball-playing centre-back that suits the club’s criteria of signings under Solskjaer. At 24, the defender has a lot of room for improvement and could be a long-term solution for the Reds’ problems if he hits the ground running in the Premier League. Being a left-footer, Torres will bring balance to United’s backline and could be the ideal partner for Maguire.
All in all, Torres ticks a lot of boxes and United must look to recruit him if they are to realistically challenge for the Premier League title next term.