Reputable journalist Pete O’Rourke has suggested that Tottenham Hotspur may have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Villarreal defender Pau Torres.
The lowdown: Long-standing interest
The Lilywhites were heavily linked with a move for Torres last summer but the transfer failed to materialise as the centre-back snubbed the chance to head to North London in favour of a prolonged stay at his hometown club.
Since then, the 25-year-old senior Spain international has continued to impress with his performances in La Liga and also helped Unai Emery’s side reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were eventually eliminated by Liverpool.
Those exploits have led to a renewed interest from Spurs, whilst Manchester United are also believed to have been keen on securing Torres’ services, however, the admiration from Old Trafford may now have waned following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez, offering Antonio Conte a potential boost…
The latest: O’Rourke’s comments
Talking to The Transfer Tavern, O’Rourke said that there could now be a ‘clear path’ for Tottenham towards the 19-cap star.
He explained: “Yeah, I think with Manchester United now, Martinez is done, I don’t expect them to be moving for another central defender.
“That might pave the way for Tottenham to have a clear path at Pau Torres, who has been a long-term target for Tottenham.
“They tried to sign him last summer but he stayed at Villarreal.”
The verdict: Act fast Paratici
Despite the apparent free run at the talented Spaniard, Fabio Paratici may yet not have everything his own way in the race to make the deal happen as Premier League champions Manchester City are the latest club to make their interest known.
However, having come so far in negotiations previously and with immediate first-team action on the table at Hotspur Way – something City may not be able to offer assurances over now that Nathan Ake seems set to remain in Manchester – Conte and Paratici remain in a strong position to sign the man once hailed as ‘sensational’ by his national team boss Luis Enrique.
Last season, Torres scored six times in 46 appearances across all competitions for Villarreal, earning a highly impressive 7.09 Sofascore rating whilst helping to keep 11 clean sheets, winning 4.0 duels and making 3.1 clearances on average per La Liga outing in the process – showcasing top defensive acumen as well as a genuine threat in the opposition penalty area.
Valued at £45million and under contract until 2024 (Transfermarkt), if Spurs can get this deal over the line for a reported £55million release clause that it would have to go down as a superb coup given the levels of interest.
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