Transfers

Villarreal demand record price for star man

Graeme Bailey
Pau Torres is a wanted man
Pau Torres is a wanted man / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Villarreal are braced to lose star defender Pau Torres in January, but they will demand a club-record fee for his services, 90min understands.

The 25-year-old centre-back has long been linked with a move away from the Estadio de la Ceramica in recent years, but a deal has never materialised.

Sources have now told 90min that Villarreal are ready to sell and although they are unlikely to demand his full £55m release clause, they will still want upwards of their previous record sale of £40m.

Torres, who is part of Spain’s World Cup party and is set to start in the heart of Luis Enrique’s defence, could finally be on the move and may leave as soon as this January.

A reunion with former boss Unai Emery at Aston Villa is emerging as a possibility, with the West Midlands side looking at defensive options for January. 90min understands that Emery is keen on Torres and thinks he could be well suited to the Premier League, but Villa are not the only club in England keen on him.

Tottenham enquired about Torres last summer and 90min understands they a very much considering a move for him once again, while Chelsea have also been keeping tabs on him.

New Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui is understood to be a keen admirer as he looks at options to bolster his newly-inherited defence in the January window. Everton, who are ready to move on from the likes of Michael Keane and Yerry Mina, also have a long-standing interest in Torres.

Manchester United remain long-term admirers, but are not in the market for a central defender in January. But other major clubs others are ready to step in and there is interest from across Europe.

Paris Saint-Germain have scouted Torres this season, while Inter also like him and they could soon be in the need of defensive reinforcements with the long-term futures of Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni far from secure.

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