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EXCLUSIVE: Aston Villa join Tottenham and Juventus in Pau Torres battle
Spurs moved for the Spain international last summer but had a €48.5 million (£42.6m) bid rejected by the LaLiga club, and they are now prepared to go back in for the 26-year-old, who had previously been on the shortlist of Manchester United.
Back in 2022, the player indicated that he wished to stay and see what opportunities developed, allowing Villarreal to hold out for more money. With just a year left on his deal, the situation has changed.
There is a sense now that a reasonable offer for Torres, whose release clause is reportedly €50 million, will be accepted, with Villarreal having a culture of making one or two players available every summer.
Torres, meanwhile, has an Expected Transfer Value (xTV) of €47.4m, making him readily available around his valuation.
Aston Villa, too, are interested in a former protégé of manager Unai Emery, who remains a big admirer of the player. Indeed, the ex-Arsenal boss recently said that Torres is the best centre-back he has ever managed, branding him “an amazing player”.
Spurs desperate for a centre-back
Spurs, however, are eager to land the centre-back after a wretched season defensively, the low point of which was a 6-1 capitulation against Newcastle at St James’ Park in April.
Since that loss, Tottenham have wasted no time in making it clear that major changes to the first-team squad need to be made ahead of the new season.
These will start at centre-back, with the hope of bringing in the versatile Torres, whose contract with Villarreal is up in 2024.
He is seen as a considerable upgrade on Eric Dier, who has had a nightmare season for the Lillywhites. Under contract until 2024, the England international, who was signed from Sporting CP in 2014, is an experienced member of the squad but has been seen as a real weakness this season.
Although Spurs have yet to appoint a new manager, they are, therefore, in the market for a centre-back and Torres is a figure who is highly rated by the hierarchy at the club.
Juventus and Villa, though, will have something to say about that.