Manchester United are winning the race to sign Pau Torres from Villarreal and are aiming to complete a deal before the start of the European Championship this summer, according to reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be prioritising a new partner for Harry Maguire this summer, while the Red devils have several players on their shortlist including Jules Kounde and Raphael Varane.
But according to Spanish radio show El Larguero, United are close to the signing of Torres from Villarreal ahead of the summer transfer window.
The report claims that United are looking to complete the transfer deal before Torres joins up with Spain’s squad for the Euros, which begins against Sweden on June 14.
It’s also reported that other clubs who are interested in Torres, including Real Madrid, are ‘resigned’ to missing out on the 24-year-old, given how advanced Solskjaer’s side are in negotiations.
And, Villarreal are looking for the Premier League giants to meet Torres’ €50m (£43.4m) release clause, which will rise then to €65m (£56.4m) in the final 15 days of the summer window.
Torres has been an important player at the heart of Villarreal’s defence this campaign and he helped Unai Emery’s side secure a 2-1 win over Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday.
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Villarreal were two goals ahead in the opening 30 minutes but Nicolas Pepe’s penalty pulled a goal back for Mikel Arteta’s side.
‘They escaped alive,’ Torres said after the match. ‘It’s clear that we’ve won and it’s a good result, but seeing how the game went we should have killed them
‘I can’t explain what’s happened [in the second half]. We’ve had clear chances they’ve found a penalty that I haven’t seen, but I know my feet were still.’