​Arsenal are leading the race to sign Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres - but will face competition from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.

The 22-year-old has been a revelation at Villarreal this season and was rewarded with a new five-year contract at the start of October, having made eight appearances in La Liga.

Pau Torres

90min understands that Arsenal have already expressed a strong interest in Torres and they're considering making a move for the defender next summer. Torres has a release clause in his contract of between €50m and 75m, though Arsenal will be hoping to strike a deal for less.

Unai Emery's side first caught wind of Torres after being tipped off about the young Spain international by his teammate and former Arsenal fan favourite, Santi Cazorla.

Manchester City and Chelsea are also targeting Torres as they look to make improvements to their squad next summer, but Arsenal are at the front of the queue for his signature.

Torres has only just started to make a serious name for himself in European football, but the 22-year-old was a standout player on loan at Málaga last season and is now considered as one of Spain's most exciting defensive talents.

On top of a new five-year contract at the Estadio de la Cerámica, he's also been rewarded for his performances in La Liga in 2019/20 by being called up to Robert Moreno's senior national team. He didn't feature regularly for Spain at youth level.

Although Torres has just signed a new deal with his hometown side, Arsenal are confident that they would be able to convince Villarreal into making a sale next summer if they make a big enough offer.

Torres' arrival in 2020 would see Arsenal have a brand new centre-back partnership available from next season, as 18-year-old William Saliba will return from his season-long loan spell with Saint-Étienne.

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