Chelsea are interested in Villarreal and Spain centre-back Pau Torres
Premier League rivals Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur wanted to sign him in the summer transfer window but could complete the move.
The 25-year-old, who is part of Spain’s squad for the World Cup, is out of contract at Villarreal in the summer of 2024. Because of a higher amount of interest in him, the Yellow Submarine could be persuaded to sell him before that, with a price of around £40m, much less than the initial £55m.
Torres has been one of the centre-backs in Europe in the last two years. His performances for Villarreal and Spain have been both good and consistent. He was fantastic for Luis Enrique’s men in the Euros last year and is touted to have a great World Cup in Qatar as well.
After losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, Chelsea did some centre-back shopping in the summer and brought in Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana from Napoli and Leicester City respectively.
But, veteran Thiago Silva is 38 now and has not decided on extending his stay beyond the summer yet. Moreover, the other option at centre-back is 33-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta, who is not getting any younger.
So, in the near future, the Blues could be in a situation where they are left with Fofana, Koulibaly and Trevoh Chalobah as centre-back options. Manager Graham Potter prefers to play three at the back. Hence, needing more options in that department is of paramount importance, if not in January, then definitely in the summer.
Torres is a top-class left-footed centre-back (which itself is premium these days), who can operate in a two or a three-man central defence. At 25, he is entering the peak years of his footballing career. Chelsea would be right to go after him in the coming transfer windows, irrespective of his World Cup showing.
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Fofana’s injury problems and Koulibaly’s volatile form means that a world-class addition at the back won’t be frowned upon by fans. Moreover, Potter is yet to sign a player at the club, and if he does fancy the Spaniard – of which there doesn’t seem to be any indication right now – then Chelsea must back him in the same way Thomas Tuchel was backed.
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