According to reports from Spain, Villarreal have increased Pau Torres’ release clause with the Liverpool-linked defender now expected to cost in the region of £59 million, as per La Razon.
Torres, 23, has recently emerged as Sergio Ramos’ central defensive partner for the Spain national team coached by former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.
He has started alongside the Real Madrid captain in each of Spain’s last four competitive international matches and is in prime position to partner Ramos during the proposed Euro 2021 Championships in June of next year.
A move to the English and world champions certainly wouldn’t harm his burgeoning reputation amongst his national team peers with Liverpool touted with an interest in the rising centre back.
90Min reports that Jurgen Klopp has included Torres among an array of defensive targets as Liverpool look to compensate for the loss of Virgil van Dijk, who is expected to miss the rest of the season with a long-term knee injury.
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Torres features on a list of targets which also includes Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykola Matvienko, Sevilla’s Jules Koundé and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
However, if Liverpool choose to prioritise Torres as their No.1 defensive target, luring him away from Villarreal will not come cheaply.
He has a substantial release clause in his current contract in La Liga – less than Kounde of Sevilla but almost double that of Upamecano of Leipzig.
Spanish publication La Razon reports that the increased speculation surrounding Torres has forced Villarreal’s hand in adding an additional £15 million to the former Malaga star’s release clause with Torres now dubbed to be worth in the region of £59 million.
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Liverpool have smashed their transfer record before to sign a central defensive figure to become the club’s chief organiser and defensive lynchpin, but this doesn’t appear to be the case with Torres.
Renowned for his expansive range of passing ability, aerial dominance and explosive speed, Torres has all the qualities to be a leading figure in the game for years to come.
However, Liverpool and more specifically, sporting director Michael Edwards are notoriously tough negotiators meaning it is unlikely the club would condone such an eye-watering figure when there are cheaper alternatives in the market.
Upamecano for instance, is reportedly available for a release clause at the end of the season. Negotiating with RB Leipzig for him – a 22-year-old with enormous potential – just fits the bill far better than Torres given Liverpool’s maintained transfer model that prioritises deals based on determining factors such as plausibility and cost.
With that said, Upamecano represents a more attainable and viable central defensive target than Torres.
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