Pau Torres: Why I rejected Tottenham

Martin Macdonald
If Man Utd or Man City pay up, Pau Torres will leave, says Villarreal president

Pau Torres has revealed that the prospect of playing in the Champions League with his beloved Villarreal is the reason why he rejected a transfer to Tottenham in the summer.

The Spaniard has emerged as one of the most promising central defenders in Europe over the last couple of seasons and was instrumental in Villarreal winning their first ever major trophy in 2020/21.

The Yellow Submarine defeated Manchester United in the final of the Europa League and with that victory the club were granted automatic entry into the group stage of the Champions League for the 2021/22 campaign.

Following that impressive season last year, which was followed up by another excellent showing for Spain at the European Championships, he became a wanted man in the transfer window.

Torres was linked heavily to Real Madrid and Manchester United, with Tottenham also interested.

According to reports, Spurs had a €60 million bid accepted for the centre-back.

But, Torres rejected the chance to make the move to North London and quadruple his salary.

The player was born in Villarreal and is a fan of the club, and wanted to play in the Champions League with them before deciding on his next career move.

What did Torres say?

Speaking to the Guardian, Torres said:

“The pull of playing the Champions League with the team from my town was bigger [than moving to Tottenham]

“I was clear from the start. This is only the fourth time Villarreal reached the Champions League, which shows how hard it is and it was a dream to play the competition with my lifelong club.

“The president didn’t put pressure on me, even though they could make a lot of money. He always said ‘the decision’s yours,’ that he’d respect it. I appreciate that.”

“What I could experience with the club was unrepeatable.

“I’m comfortable in my town, with my people close, and the group we have and the people we signed – [Arnaut] Danjuma, Boulaye [Dia], Gerard [Moreno] renewed … – meant we had a team to do great things.

“I’m enjoying it. It’s a special year, the group is very close, that’s why I stayed.”