Man Utd target new Spain international but MUST trigger £45.5m release clause

Manchester United are considering an approach to sign Villarreal defender Pau Torres, reports claim. The talented centre-back helped the club achieve Europa League football and is being watched by several European heavyweights.

The Red Devils currently have seven central defenders on their books including Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe and Marcos Rojo.

But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still looking to bolster his defensive options and find a regular partner for captain Maguire.

The 13-time Premier League champions have been linked with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, Milan Skriniar and free agent Jan Vertonghen in recent months.

But, according to The Times, there’s a new name on the shortlist.

Solskjaer is looking for a left-sided centre-back to play alongside Maguire and the 23-year-old fits the bill.

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Torres has made 43 first-team appearances for the La Liga outfit and only missed four top-flight fixtures this season as the club finished a respectable fifth.

The 6’3″ defender’s exploits haven’t gone unnoticed either having been called up to the Spanish national side to make his debut against Malta in November 2019.

However, it could be difficult to lure Torres to Old Trafford with boyhood club Villarreal reluctant to sell.

That’s in addition to Spanish station COPE claiming that Barcelona want him if their audacious approach for Manchester City defender Eric Garcia is unsuccessful.

Torres still has four years remaining on his contract, that expires in June 2024 and Villarreal will only sell if his £45.5million release clause is triggered.

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Meanwhile, Jermaine Jenas thinks ex-Tottenham star Vertonghen would be an ideal addition.

“I keep touting him around everywhere but I’m sorry, Jan Vertonghen on a free is the best free transfer centre-half out there,” Jenas told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“If you can get Harry Maguire back on the right side and get an actual ball-playing centre-half as a left-sider, that little dynamic may change things for them as well and he’s free.

“Manchester United will know what they’re doing, they’ll have a plan but defensively they’re miles off it. I know how good he is.

“It baffles me when I see him in the stand every week because I know how good he this player is. I’ve played with him, I’ve watched him and on a free transfer, it just makes sense.”

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