Manchester United making progress on Pau Torres transfer after Raphael Varane bid

Pau Torres is a target for Manchester United (Photo by Aitor Alcalde – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Manchester United are pressing ahead with a move for Villarreal defender Pau Torres after having a £50million bid rejected by Real Madrid for Raphael Varane.

Varane, 28, was identified as United’s top defensive target by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this year after the Frenchman informed Madrid that he would not be signing an extension to his current contract, which expires in 2022.

The La Liga giants are therefore minded to sell the World Cup winner but United have had a £50m bid rejected for the defender, with Madrid holding out for closer to £80m.

United have a host of areas in which they want to invest this summer and signing Varane for around £80m would mean Solskjaer using over half of his £75m budget.

United have had a £50m bid for Varane rejected (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images) Photographer: Anthony Dibon Provider: Icon Sport via Getty Images Source: Icon Sport

The Manchester Evening News therefore claim that the club have now stepped up their pursuit of Torres, who has a release clause of £51m in his contract.

The defender was on United’s shortlist before he put in a Man of the Match performance in Villarreal’s Europa League final win against the Red Devils at the end of last season and United believe he could work well with Harry Maguire in the heart of their defence.

While United could activate Torres’ release clause, the club feel he can be signed for a lower fee and will attempt to negotiate with the La Liga club.

The fact United are working on deals elsewhere could help persuade Madrid to lower their asking price for Varane, as they risk losing him for a free in 12 months’ time.

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