Real Madrid are no longer interested in signing Villarreal defender Pau Torres, with Jules Kounde and Antonio Rudiger being pursued instead.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Real Madrid have called off their pursuit of Pau Torres, as they have no intention of paying €65 million to sign him. Instead, the Spanish giants are prioritising moves for Jules Kounde and Antonio Rudiger, with the Spanish international no longer featuring on their agenda.

Pau Torres has established himself as one of the best defenders in La Liga since earning his big break at Villarreal in the 2019/20 season. Now a mainstay at the back for the Yellow Submarine, the 24-year-old has also been a regular feature for the Spanish national side in the last couple of years.

To date, Torres has made 101 appearances for Villarreal, chipping in with six goals and four assists in the process. His exploits have not gone unnoticed either, with some of the biggest clubs in Europe showing an interest in the player in recent transfer windows. One of his chief suitors have been Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have been closely monitoring the progress of Torres in recent years and have even considered signing him. The interest in the 24-year-old makes sense as well, despite the advent of Eder Militao this years.

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That is because Los Blancos chose not to bring in as many replacements for Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window, with David Alaba being the only addition to the defensive unit. With Nacho on the wrong side of 30 and best utilised as a backup option, it will be prudent of Real Madrid to sign a centre-back at the earliest opportunity.

To that end, it had been suggested that Torres was one of Real Madrid’s key targets. However, according to El Nacional, the Spanish giants are no longer pursuing a move for the Spanish international, as they do not intend to pay the €65 million required to secure his services.

Instead, Real Madrid will look to sign Jules Kounde or Antonio Rudiger, who are much higher on their priority list of centre-backs. As for Torres, it remains to be seen if some other suitor emerges in his pursuit or if he stays put at Villarreal.

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