Villarreal hero Pau Torres wanted by Man City and Man Utd

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 Mar 2022 11:56 CET 4 min read
Who is Pau Torres? The Villarreal defender wanted by Man Utd, Man City and Real Madrid

Villarreal are bracing themselves for big money summer bids for star defender Pau Torres.

Torres has developed into one of the best defenders in La Liga and is fully established within the starting XI for Spain, too.

The 25-year-old will be at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war when the window re-opens, such is his quality.

Apart from a loan deal away at Malaga for the 2018/19 season, Torres has been at Villarreal his whole career, including at youth level.

What position does Pau Torres play in?

Torres is very much in the mould of a now-traditional ball-playing Spanish centre-back, similar in possession to the likes of Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos.

Though he perhaps lacks the aggressive nature of a Ramos, his quality on the ball is undisputed as he helps Unai Emery’s side build play from the back.

What he does have in his favour in a physical sense is his height, as he stands at 6ft 4, which enables him to dominate strikers aerially. Even with his towering stature, he has a graceful nature when striding forward from defence.

Torres is regarded as one of the most graceful defenders in La Liga

Torres is regarded as one of the most graceful defenders in La Liga

How good is Pau Torres?

Any player who ultimately replaced Ramos for Spain will certainly have good qualities, and Torres has talent in abundance.

On average in La Liga in the 2020/21 campaign, he completed 64.4 passes per game for a success rate of 88%, with 8.4 of those being sent into dangerous areas into the final third. He has similarly impressive numbers in the current season.

Although the final third statistic is not near the top of the leaderboard, that is mainly due to how Villarreal play, as he is regularly asked to pass possession on to deep-lying midfielders Dani Parejo, Vicente Iborra and Francis Coquelin.

Within La Liga, he wins the majority of his duels (64%), the majority of his aerial duels (64%) and averages 5.8 ball recoveries per game.

His current boss Emery believes he has the quality to play for an elite club.

“Pau Torres is an amazing player – I think he’s top,” Emery told

“I’ve been a coach in Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal and I’ve never seen a centre-back like Pau Torres.

“I think he’s going to play at the highest level, he’s playing now in the national team but he can play in the top teams in Europe very soon.”

With Ramos and Pique both at the veteran stage of their careers, Torres is viewed as the future of the defence within the Spanish national team.

What clubs are interested in Pau Torres?

Real Madrid have a long-standing interest in Torres, but they opted to pursue David Alaba instead last summer.

He came close to joining Tottenham, but ultimately turned down the move to North London as it was his desire to play in the Champions League for hometown club Villarreal. This week, he was one of the best players on the pitch and found the back of the net as the Yellow Submarine impressively eliminated Juventus.

In the summer of 2022, Manchester City and Manchester United will battle Real Madrid for his signature.

When does Pau Torres’ contract expire?

Torres' contract expires in 2024.

What is Pau Torres’ Instagram?

Torres’ Instagram account has 181k followers as of March 2021.

Who is Pau Torres’ girlfriend?

Torres is in a relationship with Paula Batet.