Chelsea are lingering behind Unai Emery’s Arsenal in a three-way Premier League race to land Villarreal’s revelation Pau Torres, according to 90min.
The 22-year-old star broke into the Villarreal first-team this campaign, with his performances catching the attention of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, who have expressed a serious interest in making a move for the central defender next summer.
It is suggested that Gunners first caught wind of the potential of Pau when former Gunners ace Santi Cazorla alerted the Gunners to him, and have since moved to the front of the queue for his services.
Villarreal-born Pau has started each of his hometown side’s eight top-flight fixtures this term and struck his second senior goal in his most recent match with the opening effort in a 2-1 defeat away to Jagoba Arrasate’s CA Osasuna.
Pau had helped to two clean sheets in his prior seven matches of the term for Villarreal to head into the international break ninth in the league table and saw his efforts rewarded with a fresh, long-term contract at the start of the month that runs until June of 2024.
Emery’s side have expressed a strong interest in making a swoop to sign the defender next summer, though, and are confident they would be able to seal a deal if they offer the right figure.
Villarreal inserted a £43.6m-£65.4m (€50m-€75m) release clause in Torres’ fresh terms, but the Gunners would be looking to finalise a transfer below that figure.
Chelsea and Manchester City are also keeping tabs on his progress in Spain as the Premier League duo scout potential defensive reinforcements.