Manchester United

Man United 'open talks' for Pau Torres after 'consulting' Erik ten Hag

Manchester United have held initial talks over a move for Pau Torres and consulted incoming boss Erik ten Hag about a possible deal for the Villarreal defender, according to a report.

Ten Hag is plotting a major overhaul of United's underperforming squad when he officially starts at Old Trafford in July, and an attempt to sign long-term target Torres is said to have already started with the manager's approval.

One of Ten Hag's Eredivisie winners at Ajax, Jurrien Timber, has also been 'championed' by the Dutchman during early recruitment talks, according to the MEN.

Pau Torres (left) impressed as Villarreal reached the Champions League semi-final this season

New Man United boss Erik ten Hag (left) is said to be targeting Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber

Torres rejected a move to the Premier League last summer to pursue Champions League football with the Yellow Submarine, and the 25-year-old is understood to have a release clause in his contract of around £50m. 

Villarreal reached the semi-finals of the Champions League but missed out on qualifying for the competition next season, reportedly leaving them open to lower bids for Torres in order to raise funds.

United could pay around £43m for the Spain international, whose abilities on the ball are thought to match the style of play Ten Hag wants to develop at Old Trafford.

Torres is under contract until 2024 but could be brought in amid an expected exodus at United after they confirmed sixth place on the final day of a forgettable campaign.

Phil Jones (second from right) could be among the defenders making an exit from Old Trafford

Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones will be among the defenders leaving at the end of the season, according to the outlet.

Europa League winner Torres is said to have been the back-up option when United signed Raphael Varane from Real Madrid in August 2021 under former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Timber made his Ajax debut in 2020 and was almost ever-present as they won their most recent title under Ten Hag, scoring his first goal for the Amsterdammers to set them on their way to a 4-0 win over Emmen on May 2 that sealed top spot in the top flight.

The 20-year-old made his Netherlands bow in June 2021 and was selected for Euro 2020 that summer.

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