Real Madrid

Real Madrid target Pau Torres with Sergio Ramos talks 'on standby'

Andrew Headspeath
Pau Torres is a transfer target for Real Madrid
Pau Torres is a transfer target for Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid have made Villarreal's Pau Torres a defensive target for next summer, as Sergio Ramos' future remains up in the air.

Defence appears an area for renovation at the Bernabeu ahead of 2021/21. Besides Ramos, who turns 35 this year and whose contract expires this summer, Madrid currently have Raphael Varane, Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez as central defensive options - though the latter two have played a combined total of just five games this season in La Liga.

Reports indicate that Los Blancos may be closing in on a pre-contract agreement for Bayern Munich's versatile star David Alaba. However, COPE journalist Manolo Lama reports that there are plans for another signing at the back too with Villarreal's Torres the target.

Pau Torres has previously been linked to Liverpool and Manchester United
Pau Torres has previously been linked to Liverpool and Manchester United / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

23-year-old Torres, who has also been linked to Liverpool, Manchester City and United in recent months, has a contractual release clause set at €50m (£45m) at Villarreal, though it is said that Real Madrid hope to 'cut the price in half'.

Whether Torres would be brought in to play with or instead of club captain Ramos is another matter.

While Real Madrid recently agreed a 10% pay cut with all players to help manage the continued financial impact of the pandemic, there is still the issue of Ramos' renewal.

COPE's report claims no formal discussions have yet taken place between Ramos and president Florentino Perez, a situation which is 'beginning to disturb' the player with his current deal up this summer.

AS report that Los Blancos aren't in a position to offer their superstar captain the sort of deal he may have been expecting, with the club estimating that they'll endure a €300m (£266m) shortfall this year.

Aside from the matter of salary and bonuses, COPE adds that Ramos wants a two-year extension, which is unappealing to the Madrid hierarchy.

90min reported back in November that all of the Premier League's big six had expressed an interest in Ramos, should he officially choose to leave Madrid, though it is the player's preference to remain at the Bernabeu.