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Manchester United transfer news: Napoli join race for Villarreal’s Pau Torres

Pau Torres
(Image credit: PA)

Napoli are ready to challenge Manchester United for the signing of Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Spanish international is seen as an ideal addition to the Napoli defence, with Kalidou Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic likely to move on this summer.

Man United are also keen on Torres as their search for a long-term partner for club captain Harry Maguire continues.

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have both struggled to convince Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that they’re up to the task, while Phil Jones is still absent through injury.

Torres has impressed at the heart of the Villarreal defence over the last two seasons, making 77 appearances in all competitions.

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at his hometown club, making his debut in December 2016, but finally established himself in the team on a regular basis after a successful loan spell at Malaga.

He made his debut for Spain in November 2019, scoring in a 7-0 win over Malta, and has collected a further six caps since then.

Man United will get a particularly close look at Torres when they take on Villarreal in the Europa League final in nine days’ time.

The Yellow Submarines saw off the challenge of Arsenal in the semi-finals, winning 2-1 on aggregate against Unai Emery’s former side.

Napoli, who currently sit third in Serie A with one game remaining, are anticipating bids for centre-backs Koulibaly and Maksimovic this summer.

While he also has Amir Rrahmani and Kostas Manolas to call on, Gennaro Gattuso is looking to bring in a younger option to build around, with Torres believed to be his preferred choice.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are monitoring his progress amid suggestions that Villarreal would be prepared to sell for £26million.