Manchester United are reportedly in advanced talks to secure the signing of Villarreal defender Pau Torres, who is also a transfer target for Real Madrid.

According to a report from Spanish radio show El Larguero, Manchester United have taken a major step towards completing the transfer of Spanish centre-back Pau Torres from Villarreal, who was also being pursued intently by La Liga champions Real Madrid.

Torres, 24, has emerged as one of the top central defenders in La Liga over the past couple of seasons. A product of the Villarreal youth academy, the Spaniard has flourished since returning from a loan spell with Malaga in the second division and has gone on to rack up 81 senior appearances for the Yellow Submarine, scoring five goals and setting up three more.

Torres’ progress over the past couple of seasons has put a host of top clubs across on high-alert with Manchester United one of the teams interested in signing him, along with the current Spanish champions Real Madrid.

Analyzing Manchester United’s rumoured pursuits of centre-backs – Who should the Red Devils sign?

Manchester United have as many as five centre-backs in the first-team currently in the form of captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe. Amongst them, though, Jones is not a part of the manager’s plans while Tuanzebe has not been able to carve out a place for himself at the first-team level either.

In addition, Bailly, even though he signed a new contract recently, continues to be plagued by injury issues while Lindelof has also battled with a chronic back problem this term. Add to it his consistencies throughout his spell at Old Trafford, and it is not hard to fathom why Manchester United have been looking for defensive reinforcements in the summer.

As for Real Madrid, they are in desperate need for the addition of a new centre-back heading into the new season amid serious question marks over the future of Raphael Varane, interestingly a transfer target for Manchester United, as well as captain and icon Sergio Ramos, whose contract with the club expires at the end of the ongoing campaign.

While David Alaba is set to arrive at Real Madrid on a free transfer, another top-quality centre-back such  as Torres would still be a useful addition to Zinedine Zidane’s roster at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, it looks like Real Madrid are set to be beaten by Manchester United to the signing of the 24-year-old. Indeed, the report claims that the Red Devils are in advanced talks to secure the transfer of Torres and are on track to complete the deal before the European Championships kick off, something that other clubs interested in the Spaniard have already accepted.

Torres is said to have a release clause of €50 million which could rise to €65 million in the final fifteen days of the summer transfer window. So, it makes a great deal of sense for Manchester United to wrap up the deal as early as possible. It now remains to be seen if the 20-time English champions do actually push through a deal in the coming weeks.

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