Chelsea have set their sights on Villarreal star Pau Torres as Thomas Tuchel eyes defensive reinforcements in 2022.

If reports from 90 min are to be believed, Chelsea have entered the market for Pau Torres. The 24-year-old Villarreal defender has emerged as a potential option for the Premier League in the upcoming January transfer window, with Thomas Tuchel desperate to bolster his options in the defensive unit.

A centre-back by trade, Torres has raised quite a few heads with his growth at Villarreal in recent years. He notably won the UEFA Europa League last season, beating Manchester United in the final while notching up almost 92 competitive appearances for his hometown club, emerging as a rock at the under Unai Emery.

In fact, the 24-year-old is being considered as the ideal long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid, who are keeping a close eye on his development at Villarreal. It is also a reason why the former Malaga starlet has also won 14 caps for the Spanish national team, most notably representing La Roja at UEFA Euro 2020.

Torres’ phenomenal growth in Spain has now put Chelsea on red alert as well. The reigning European champions are believed to be in the market for defensive reinforcements after offloading Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan on a permanent deal while Kurt Zouma moved to West Ham at the end of August.

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The Blues face a more immediate threat in the shape of Antonio Rudiger’s future at the club. The German’s defender expires at the end of the season, with Bayern Munich prepared to make a swoop next summer. His potential departure will create a massive void in the club’s defensive unit, with Thiago Silva, too, set to leave Stamford Bridge after the end of his contract as things stand.

Torres has been identified as an ideal candidate to replenish Chelsea’s defensive department. The Spaniard has showcased excellent technical prowess, potential and the ability to marshall the backline during his time at Villarreal. The 24-year-old is even expected to be in the thick of the action when the Spanish giants lock horns with Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League later this evening.

That said, Pau Torres is not the only option available for Chelsea, who remain interested in re-entering the market for a top summer target for Jules Kounde. The Frenchman is a youngster alternative and arguably offers a higher ceiling, though he is expected to cost a fortune due to his hefty release clause.

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