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Man United to battle Barcelona for 23-year-old La Liga starlet with £45.5m release clause



Manchester United are interested in Pau Torres

According to the Times, Manchester United have identified Villareal star Pau Torres as a partner to skipper Harry Maguire.

Although the Red Devils have the second-best defence in the league, the performances of Victor Lindelof has at times raised eyebrows. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bring in a left-footed defender to play alongside his captain.

According to the report, the club has prepared a four-man shortlist of potential targets. This also includes the Spanish international.

Manchester United are interested in Pau Torres
Manchester United are interested in Pau Torres

The 23-year-old had an excellent campaign with the Yellow Submarines. His performances have also seen him get a call-up for the Spanish national team.

A quick and athletic player, he would add dynamism and speed to a United rearguard that has at times missed both.

United do however face a number of hurdles in recruiting the youngster. Not only do Villareal not want to sell but But Barcelona too have entered the fray for his signature.

Maguire lacks a dependable partner in defence
Maguire lacks a dependable partner in defense

According to the Spanish radio station COPE (h/t Metro), the Catalans have earmarked the 23-year-old as an alternative to Manchester City youngster Eric Garcia.

Villarreal will only let Torres leave if his release clause of £45.5m is met. With four more years to go on his current deal, the Spaniards hold all the aces.

Torres has been a strong presence at the back for Villarreal in his 36 appearances this term. He has also contributed with a couple of goals and assists each, making him a threat at the other end as well.

The Manchester United skipper too has been hardly flawless
The Manchester United skipper has been hardly flawless this season

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Despite the improvement made to our backline by Maguire, he has shown the tendency to go flat-footed at times. It would not be the worst choice to bring in another reliable defender to play alongside him.

Whether that is Torres or not remains to be seen.