Villarreal head-coach Unai Emery has dealt a blow to Manchester United’s chances of securing the services of highly-rated Spanish defender Pau Torres.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be tracking the likes of Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde as his top target for strengthening his defensive end, however, Torres from Villarreal has been an alternative and cheaper option.
The Spain international has affirmed that he is “very calm” amid rumours surrounding his future, however, Emery has now claimed that only Spain’s top teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid could attempt to strike a deal for his key man.
Speaking to Radio Marca, Emery said: “If Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona want Villarreal players, it’s a source of pride. And Pau Torres? Double, because he’s also from here.
“If he leaves here, he has to go to Real Madrid or Barcelona.”
While Torres is talked to be high on Solskjaer’s wishlist, the 20-times English champions, head-coach has reportedly earmarked Varane as his ideal long-term defensive partner for Harry Maguire.
Torres has featured in 35 games for Villarreal this season – founding back of the net twice in La Liga and one in the Europa League – and his current deal at Villarreal does not expire until 2024.