Villarreal v Man Utd: Gdansk ready for Europa League final
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Villarreal defender Pau Torres has claimed that Manchester United’s dressing room is full of ‘world-class players’ as the 24-year-old prepares to face the Red Devils in Wednesday evening’s Europa League final. Torres has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager to sign a new centre-back to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of United’s back four.
The Villarreal man has recently established himself as one of the finest ball-playing defenders in Spain, gaining plenty of admirers with his cultured range of passing and ability to beat a high press with ease.
He will be looking to produce another commanding performance against United in Gdansk, with Villarreal chasing Champions League qualification after missing out on a top-four finish in La Liga.
The likes of Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes will provide Torres with the sternest of tests as the Red Devils aim to live up to their billing as the overwhelming favourites to claim the spoils.
However, the defender has revealed that he is more than ready for the challenge of keeping English football’s most successful club at bay.
He told Guillem Balague on the Pure Football Podcast that although United’s ranks are packed with top-class talent, he is looking forward to testing himself against the stars of Old Trafford in order to discover his true ability.
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“When I hear the names of important strikers, what I want to do is to face them,” said Torres. “The same thing happened to me in my first games against Real Madrid, Barcelona.
“I knew that I would face very good players, and the only thing I have in mind is that I will face very important players, and that way [I will] know where my level is.
“Manchester United have world-class players in all positions. It will be a test to measure just where Villarreal is at this moment, to see if it is prepared to achieve great things.”
Torres was recently named in Luis Enrique’s 24-man Spain squad for the upcoming European Championships ahead of the likes of Sergio Ramos, with the former’s inclusion coming as a welcome reward for his hard work all season.
It remains to be seen whether United will eventually act on their reported interest in the defender as the Red Devils are said to have other irons in the fire.
Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is believed to be a long-term target, while Brighton and Hove Albion’s Ben White and Jules Kounde of Sevilla have also been mentioned in connection with the Old Trafford club as of late.
Meanwhile, former Rangers boss Ally McCoist has suggested that United should go after Chelsea outcast Fikayo Tomori, with the 23-year-old making waves since joining AC Milan on a half-season loan deal in January.
“I still think the centre-back position is a key priority for Manchester United,” McCoist told talkSPORT.
“An interesting one is Tomori, what about him? Would you go and get him? They definitely need someone to play alongside Harry Maguire.
“Sancho would be a great signing, Kane would be a fantastic signing, Grealish would be a wonderful signing, but I don’t think it’s top of Manchester United’s priority list.
“I still think a central defender is top of that list. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them strengthen in that department.”
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