Pau Torres back on Man Utd transfer radar
Villarreal defender Pau Torres is back on the radar of Manchester United after another brilliant season in Spain, 90min understands.
The Yellow Submarines have one of the best defences in La Liga, conceding just 27 times in 29 games, and Torres has been at the heart of their success. He is also now a regular for the Spanish national team under Luis Enrique and has long been of interest to Real Madrid, as well as United.
Torres first caught the eye of United when they were searching for a new central defender last summer, and the club even held talks before it became clear that Raphael Varane was available to sign from Real Madrid.
90min understands that United's interest in Torres remains and Old Trafford sources have confirmed the club are in the market for a central defender - although a final decision on whether they move for one will be made in conjunction with appointing the club’s next permanent manager.
United are currently entrenched in their search for a new boss with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino battling to land the top job following Ralf Rangnick's interim spell in charge.
Despite not knowing who their next manager will be, United’s scouting network has continued to work hard on targets and while at least one new central midfielder and a striker are top of their wanted list, 90min understands they have also been instructed to make sure their central defensive reports are ready and up-to-date.
As it stands United would not stand in the way of Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones leaving the club, while it is far from certain any new boss would want to build his defence around current captain Harry Maguire.
Torres has shone in recent months with United keeping close tabs on him, and the Red Devils were present last month to see him star in Villarreal's surprise 3-0 Champions League win at Juventus - a game he also scored in.
The 25-year-old is one of a handful of a defenders that United have been keeping an eye on, with Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji, Wolves’ Max Kilman and Sevilla's Jules Kounde also impressing in recent months.
Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is another player United are in contention to sign, but the path to land the German is a complicated one. The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are also looking to snap him up on a free transfer, but prospective new owners at Stamford Bridge are likely to ensure a new contract offer is put to Rudiger as a priority.