With it being the international break, Liverpool continually find themselves engulfed at the forefront of the transfer rumour mill. Pau Torres of Villarreal is the latest highly-rated starlet linked with a move to Anfield.
Whether or not these reports are to be taken seriously, remains to be seen. Still, there is no hiding from the fact that Torres is currently one of the best centre-backs on the market.
The Mail reports that Liverpool, who are closing in on a deal for Ibrahima Konaté, are also keen on landing Torres.
Is a deal possible?
Liverpool’s transfer priorities are constantly evolving ahead of this summer’s transfer window, and it’s unclear how much funding Jurgen Klopp will be granted to improve the squad.
Torres has a £52 million release clause, after all, which is a considerably high fee given the Reds are on the verge of signing Konate for less.
However, The MEN recently reported that Villarreal are open to a swap deal, and Liverpool could consider one of their own as a potential bargaining chip.
We are talking, of course, about Joel Matip. Liverpool signed the 29-year-old from Schalke, who has since become an established Premier League and Champions League winner.
While Matip is a fan favourite at Anfield, his ongoing injury woes have cast worrying concerns in regards to his Liverpool future. In fact, he was recently listed as a player the club could utilise to raise transfer funds this summer, per The Sunday World.
It makes sense, then, that Matip could be sacrificed if Villarreal really are intent on a swap deal. Purely from a viewpoint of reliability, Torres is an upgrade on the Cameroonian defender.
Whether or not, though, this could work in Liverpool’s favour could hinge on whether Villarreal choose to look beyond Matip’s history with injuries. He is an elite-level defender, after all, but his fitness record is unfavourable.
How is Torres currently performing?
Well, put simply, Torres is enjoying arguably his best season to date in the Spanish top-flight. Villarreal, who are currently under the tutelage of Unai Emery, have a real shot at going the distance in the Europa League, too.
The 24-year-old is thriving under Emery, who was quoted by Football.London: “Pau Torres is an amazing player – I think he’s top,”I’ve been a coach in Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal and I’ve never seen a centre-back like Pau Torres.
“I think he’s going to play at the highest level, he’s playing now in the national team but he can play in the top teams in the Europe very soon.”
Torres, a left-footed defender, is also the centre-back partner of Sergio Ramos at international level. Renowned for his ball-playing ability and reading of the game, Torres’ smart style of defending has seen him pick up just one booking in 32 appearances this season.
It’s no surprise, then, that Real Madrid are also keen on making Torres the natural successor to Ramos at The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, according to Goal.
Torres hasn’t been in action for Spain during the international break having picked up a minor muscle injury. He is expected to be back for Villarreal’s Europa League quarter-final first leg on April 8.