Manchester United are looking at Villarreal star Pau Torres to strengthen their back-line, though face competition for the centre-back from La Liga giants Barcelona.
Although the Red Devils ended the campaign with the third best defence in the Premier League – only City and Liverpool conceded fewer goals – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bring in a new central defender this summer.
There have been question marks over both the Sweden international Victor Lindelof and even world’s most expensive defender Harry Maguire at times, while the club need more depth in the position.
According to The Times, that has seen the board draw up a four-man shortlist of potential centre-back acquisitions, with Villarreal star Torres and the Bournemouth man Nathan Ake both on the list.
Ole particularly wants a left-footed centre-back to partner Harry Maguire, which would allow the Englishman to move to the right side of the defence.
Torres, who has enjoyed a strong season with Villarreal and earned a call-up to the national team, ticks that box, while Pau also has the speed and athleticism that United’s defence has missed.
However, not only are the Spanish club extremely reluctant to sell Torres – who came through the Yellow Submarine’s academy – but United are not the only team looking to land him.
According to Spanish radio station COPE, Barcelona are also keeping a close eye on the 23-year-old and will make a move if they are unsuccessful in their pursuit of City talent Eric Garcia.
Both Red Devils and Blaugrana have been made aware that Villarreal will only let Pau – who still has four years to run on his deal – leave if his exit clause is met, which stands at €50 million (£45.5m).