Chelsea ‘heavily scouting’ Manchester United target Pau Torres as transfer hijack explored

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Chelsea are said to be heavily scouting Villarreal defender Pau Torres ahead of a potential summer move. The Spanish international is high on Manchester United’s shortlist as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targets a new centre-back but now the Blues have entered the fray as the race for his services intensifies.

Torres looks set to earn a big move this summer courtesy of his impressive development at Villarreal and he is now regarded as one of the best centre-backs in La Liga.

Manchester City were also believed to be interested last summer before they eventually signed Ruben Dias from Benfica.

If Torres is to move to the Premier League, a switch to United appears to be his most likely destination.

However, according to The Athletic, Chelsea have actually been monitoring the 24-year-old’s progress in recent months.

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Thomas Tuchel is set to decide whether he wants to bring in another centre-back at the end of the campaign.

Should he wish to do so, Chelsea look set to try and hijack United’s proposed move for Torres.

The ball-playing defender has a release clause in the region of £45million in his contract.

Villarreal are also allegedly open to potential player-plus-cash offers.

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Chelsea’s defence is currently their strongest asset since Tuchel switched to a back-three.

The Blues have kept 12 clean sheets in their 14 matches under the German but could still strengthen their backline at the end of the campaign.

As for United, Solskjaer has been keen on adding another centre-back to his ranks since 2020.

He wanted to bring Nathan Ake or Dayot Upamecano to Old Trafford but Ed Woodward failed to fulfil his request.

Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have failed to prove they’re worthy of a place in United’s backline for the long haul.

Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde are amongst United’s other potential options but both cost more than Torres.

Real Madrid’s cup winner is yet to sign a new contract and wants to move onto a new chapter.

United have been tracking him since his Lens days and now could be their time to complete a deal.

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