Tottenham Hotspur are said to have an advantage in the race to sign Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres.
That’s according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, who has highlighted the north Londoners’ place in this season’s Champions League as a huge factor in their favour.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he claimed:
“I think Champions League football is a big factor for all these top players in Europe now.
“They want to be playing against the best players in the world and that’s what the Champions League offers to you.
“I think Pau Torres stayed at Villarreal last season to have the opportunity to play in the Champions League, so I’m sure that will be a key factor in where he decides to move this summer.
“It’s something that Tottenham can offer the Spain international, so that might give them an advantage over their Premier League rivals, such as Manchester United, in their pursuit.”
Indeed, reports suggest that Spurs are battling it out with Manchester United for the Spaniard’s signature, whilst Chelsea have also been linked with interest throughout the off-season.
Torres is thought to have a €60m (£51m) release clause in his contract at the Yellow Submarines, as per journalist Fabrizio Romano, so he wouldn’t come cheap.
And whilst the Lilywhites have signed a new central defender in the form of Clement Lenglet, who has joined from LaLiga rivals Barcelona on loan, they could do no wrong in bolstering Antonio Conte’s backline with another colossus.
In terms of his ball-playing ability and threat in the opposition’s box, there aren’t many better centre-backs out there.
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As per FBref, when compared to his positional peers across Europe, Torres ranks amongst the top 1% for dribbles completed (0.80), the top 3% for non-penalty goals (0.14), and the top 10% for both progressive passes (4.39) and progressive carries (4.71) per 90.
The statistical website also compares him to a player that Conte knows well in the form of Leonardo Bonucci, who featured 112 times under the former Juventus boss – the second-most of his career, with him only playing more for Max Allegri.
Elsewhere, the 6 foot 3 titan has been lauded as an “extraordinary talent” by his former coach Javi Calleja, and it’s easy to see why given just how comfortable he appears to be on the ball, thus making him an ideal fit for Conte’s system.
Also described as “wonderful on the ball” and as a “pure ball-playing defender” by scout Jacek Kulig, Spurs should push ahead with plans to sign the £45m-rated defender, given they have a big advantage due to their Champions League berth this season.
He may well cost a pretty penny at around £51m but at the age of just 25, the Lilywhites would be getting plenty of years of service from the Spaniard.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano issues big Harry Kane update…