Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly identified his preferred target to partner with Harry Maguire in defence next season. The Red Devils boss is desperate to bring in reinforcements after being unconvinced by his current options.
Strengthening the defensive unit is a priority for the Norwegian manager going into next season and he is said to have identified Villarreal defender Pau Torres as the ideal candidate to partner Maguire in central defence.
According to the Daily Express, however, United are facing a time crunch in their race to sign the Spanish defender with the English Premier League club keen to wrap up the signing prior to the European Championships later this summer.
The report claims that Pau Torres' release clause will increase by a further £10 million if he is not signed prior to the final 15 days of the summer transfer window. It is believed United are on course to sign him for the original price, which is set at £43.4 million.
The talks between the two clubs are said to be at an advanced stage, which has seen fellow suitors Real Madrid turn their attention elsewhere after accepting defeat in their chase for Torres. The Spain international, however, continues to pledge his future to Villarreal for whom he has again impressed this season.
"Right now I have a contract (until 2024) and I know that I still have room for improvement," he told Sport. "I know that I am in a club where they will treat me well, I will not lack anything and that is very important to me."
Solskjaer's need to sign a defender has seen the club being linked to a number of players. Apart from Torres, the Premier League giants are also said to have looked at Real's Raphael Varane, who will enter the final year of his contract this June and Sevilla's Jules Kounde.