Manchester United are targeting new defenders – and have identified a player who could replace Harry Maguire.
Outgoing interim manager Ralf Rangnick declared that as many as 10 new stars could be brought to Old Trafford this summer, as the club look to overhaul the squad. This season has seen United's worst-ever Premier League points tally and the Red Devils are in disarray.
Plenty of stars have been linked with moves to the 20-time English champions, as Erik ten Hag settles into the hot seat. With uncertainty over the futures of a number of key stars, however, there could be big moves made in key positions.
One such name is Pau Torres, who has been a long-term target for a number of Premier League sides.
Spanish outlet Marca (opens in new tab) suggests that the Villarreal defender – who has been a stalwart of the backline that reached the Champions League semi-final this season and defeated United on penalties in the Europa League final last campaign – now wants a move away from Spain. Ten Hag's new employers will pay €50 million for player, equivalent to around £40m.
Signing such a centre-back could well spell the end of captain Harry Maguire's time at the club. The England star has had an underwhelming time since returning from Euro 2020 with a knock – and Torres is exactly the profile of leader at the back to replace him.
At 25 years old, Torres is primed to be entering his peak as a defender soon. The Spaniard has been a key man under Unai Emery in LaLiga and performed ably in Europe.
Paired with someone like Jurrien Timber in the back four, United could have a new lease of life defensively – though Dutchman Timber can also play as a right-back if needed. United are reportedly looking to drive a hard bargain regardless of who they target this summer, however, given that they have plenty of positions to upgrade on.
Torres is valued at around £45m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
More Manchester United stories
New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been speaking to the press as he takes control of the Red Devils. The 52-year-old has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo remains a part of his plans heading into next season, while suggesting that he may need patience to transform Old Trafford in his image.
Rumours are rife that the club are looking to slash the wage bill – with PSG lining up one final attempt to sway Paul Pogba to Paris. There could be plenty of incomings, too: Frenkie de Jong remains a key target at £67.5m, while Raphinha of Leeds is on the radar. Jurrien Timber is one name heavily linked, while United are long-term admirers of Lazio man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
One slightly leftfield potential buy would be Christian Eriksen from Brentford, who is out of contract following the end of the season.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT.
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