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Having been in fine form this term, the Spanish centre-back is a man in demand and Real had identified him as the perfect replacement for Sergio Ramos if their long-time captain does not extend his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But United are now showing interest in the 24-year-old and according to El Desmarque, it's left Real president Florentino Perez feeling "very angry" as Los Blancos thought they were at the front of the queue.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the hunt for a high-quality defensive partner for captain Harry Maguire, having swapped between Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly on occasion this season.
Maguire's preference is believed to be an "English-speaking or English-born" defender, though there is a suggestion that Solskjaer is set on acquiring a left-footed centre-back.
Torres, who looks set to be a regular for Spain in the European Championships, fits that profile.
Contracted until 2024, he reportedly has a €60 million release clause but Villarreal may well consider a cash-plus-player offer due to the current financial predicament following on from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Real, who are in the process of refurbishing their stadium, could be priced out of any potential deal in the summer as the report notes Torres' price is "rising like foam with each passing day".
The Manchester Evening News say that Torres is interested in playing in England and has been learning the language.
Pau Torres would be interested in a move to #mufc and confirmed himself he is learning English. [men]- The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) March 25, 2021
Torres has featured 75 times for Villarreal after coming through the youth ranks. He made his Spain debut in 2019, scoring in a 7-0 trouncing of Malta.
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