Aston Villa ‘plot’ move for £40m Villarreal defender as Unai Emery targets reunion

Aston Villa will face Man United this weekend in Unai Emery’s first game in charge

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Aston Villa are said to be interested in signing Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres, Football Insider has reported. Unai Emery has already been linked with a number of his former stars.

Torres joined his boyhood club in 2002 before making his senior debut 15 years later and has since been a regular for the Spanish club, helping them to a Europa League trophy during the 2020-21 campaign. The defender’s superb form for Villarreal has seen him subject of plenty of interest, with both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United previously looking to bring him to the Premier League.

However, Torres opted to remain with Villarreal but could now be tempted by a move to Villa Park, with Emery reportedly giving the club the green light to make a move on his former star man. Villa have struggled defensively this season, with summer signing Diego Carlos suffering a rupture to his Achilles tendon that left him sidelined for around six months.

The Midlands club will certainly be aware that they will have to splash out to lure Torres away from his hometown, with the report claiming that he is valued at around £40 million. However, with his contract set to expire in 2024, Villarreal could be forced to part ways with him next summer. Emery’s side will definitely be keen to avoid overspending after Steven Gerrard’s cash-heavy summer that saw him splurge over £60m on the likes of Carlos and Philippe Coutinho - only for them to struggle and the former boss soon be sacked.

While Villa may have a huge advantage given his relationship with Emery, the likes of Man Utd, Tottenham and Chelsea will provide very tough competition in the race to sign the 25-year-old - especially if they can guarantee European football next season. Aston Villa currently sit 16th in the Premier League, nine points from a top six spot.