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Arsenal ‘ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea’ for Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres

Arsenal have reportedly moved ahead of Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea in the race to sign Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres. 

The Spaniard, 22, has caught the eye of Unai Emery and Arsenal’s scouting staff after the young defender – rewarded with a five-year contract in the summer – made an impressive start to the La Liga campaign. 

Former Gunners’ midfielder and fan-favourite Santi Cazorla, now of Villarreal himself, is thought to have alerted Arsenal to the burgeoning talent of Torres.  

Pau Torres' form has earned him a call-up to the Spain national team by boss Robert Moreno

Pau Torres’ form has earned him a call-up to the Spain national team by boss Robert Moreno

The centre-back, 22, has pitted himself against the very best of La Liga and duly impressed

The centre-back, 22, has pitted himself against the very best of La Liga and duly impressed

90min report: ‘Arsenal have already expressed a strong interest in Torres and they’re considering making a move for the defender next summer’. 

Thanks to a release clause in his contract, Torres is available from €50m but Arsenal will be looking to bring the price down in any prospective deal. 

Torres has played every minute of Villarreal’s league campaign so far and the centre-back opened his account for the Yellow Submarine in May against Osasuna. 

His eye-catching displays this season have seen the 6ft 4in defender earn a call-up to the Spain national team, despite Torres not being a regular feature among the youth set-up.

Alongside Santi Cazorla, Torres played in Villarreal's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in late September

Alongside Santi Cazorla, Torres played in Villarreal’s 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in late September 

Arsenal have looked defensively frail this season as summer signing David Luiz has failed to shore up an error-prone backline, and bringing in Torres would be seen by fans as a positive, forward-looking move to address such deficiencies. 

Torres’ other Premier League suitors are likewise on the lookout for defensive reinforcements. 

Despite the emergence of young England centre-back Fikayo Tomori, Chelsea – currently subject to a transfer ban – have shipped 14 goals in the league and are keeping tabs on Torres as a potential addition to Frank Lampard’s youthful side.

Manchester City meanwhile have struggled with injury problems at the heart of their defence with Fernandinho currently playing as a makeshift centre-back. 

Original article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7568269/Arsenal-ahead-Manchester-City-Chelsea-Villarreal-centre-Pau-Torres.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

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