Manchester United are reported to have won the race to sign prized €65m-rated defender Pau Torres this summer – to leave Real Madrid president Florentino Perez spitting feathers.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to have been given the green light to spend this summer. As such, the United boss is looking to strengthen in three positions. On his wanted list are a new striker, a right-back and a centre-half. Indeed, a number of big names have been mentioned as possibles to come in as a partner for Harry Maguire.
Villarreal defender Torres has reportedly emerged as Solskjaer’s No 1 target this summer. Those hopes have been significantly boosted amid claims the 24-year-old is keen to move to Old Trafford. Indeed, United are said to have had contact with Villarreal in ‘recent weeks’ to register their interest.
The fact that Torres is the left-footed centre-half that Solskjaer has been craving makes him an even more attractive option.
However, news that Torres is set to move to United have not gone down well at the Bernabeu. As per El Desmarque, Perez is said to be ‘very angry’ after learning the defender is poised for Old Trafford.
They claim Perez had earmarked Torres as the heir to Sergio Ramos and that United’s move has left their plans in tatters. They conclude that Perez now thinks United have stolen the defender from under their noses.
It’s also suggested that United’s interest will blow the cash-strapped Los Blancos out of the water. They look like they may need to sell before they can buy – especially amid talk of a blockbuster deal for Kylian Mbappe.
United could have a further ace up their sleeves in the form of Eric Bailly. The defender could be used in part exchange as part of the deal, as we revealed back in November.
Torres has featured 32 times for Villarreal this season keeping nine clean sheets and scoring three goals.
Beckham sends Solskjaer his support
Solskjaer, meanwhile, has been told by David Beckham that all United supporters are willing him to do well, with the former Red Devils hero stating he’s doing an “incredible” job at Old Trafford.
United are second in the Premier League heading into the latest international break. However, a 14-point deficit to Manchester City means the title is all-but certain to go to Pep Guardiola’s side. Defeat by Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday now means Solskjaer has just one avenue left for silverware this season. And failure to win the Europa League coulod result in Solskjaer’s dismissal, according to one pundit.
Beckham, however, is adamant Solskjaer is doing a great job. Furthermore, he insists his friend is perfectly equipped to handle any negative press.
“You know, I’ve seen some of the criticism,” Inter Miami owner Beckham told ESPN.
“But I suppose when you are a manager at Manchester United and when Manchester United have had the success over the years that they’ve had, there was always going to be a point where people get criticised – whether it’s players, whether it’s owners, whether it’s the manager.
“Ole’s been in the game for long enough to be able to take any kind of criticism. He’s very quiet, he gets on with his job. I think he’s done an incredible job down at United.
“The results are starting to show that, so hopefully that continues. The fans love Ole, we all love Ole and we all want him to do well.
“So when that criticism comes, he’s one person that can take it.”