Arsenal and Real Madrid interested in Villarreal central defender Torres

Arsenal and Real Madrid are interested in Villarreal central defender Pau Torres, according to Spanish media outlet Marca.

The Gunners are looking to strengthen their options in central defence as Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and David Luiz will be free agents in the summer. If all three players were to leave for free, that would leave the North London club with Gabriel, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Callum Chambers and William Saliba.

It is understood that the club would like to add a defender to their squad in order to offer manager Mikel Arteta more options.

Pau Torres is one of the most exciting central defenders in European football and has been a crucial player for Villarreal this season. He has started all 17 La Liga games for Unai Emery’s side and has played an important role in helping the club occupy a spot in the top four of the Spanish league.

Since making his debut for the Spanish side in December 2016, the 23-year-old defender has scored four goals and provided two assists in 61 appearances. He spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Malaga. The Villarreal defender made his debut for Spain’s senior side in 2019 and has gone on to make seven appearances for his country. 

Real Madrid are also believed to be interested in signing the player as they look to find a long term successor to club captain Sergio Ramos. Torres is believed to prefer a move to the Spanish champions over Arsenal but it is unclear if Zinedine Zidane’s side will trigger his £45.2 million release clause. It is thought that the Spanish giants are hopeful that Villarreal will accept a lower fee for the player. 

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