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Manchester United in advanced talks for Pau Torres; Real Madrid focusing on Jules Koundé — reports

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Other clubs in the leads...

Villareal CF v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Semi Final Leg One Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Pau Torres is reportedly one of the many names on Chelsea’s centre back wishlist, although he doesn’t appear to be a preferred target. Manchester United were reportedly in the driver’s seat for his signature, and according to reports from Cadena SER and Sportitalia, the Red Devils are now in advanced discussions to sign him.

United apparently want to close his signing before the start of this summer’s European Championships to ward off interest from other clubs in the Spanish international’s services.

Villarreal, who are competing for the Europa League title this season alongside Manchester United, will not let their prized asset leave on the cheap, and will demand the full release clause amount of €50m, which will rise to €65m in the final two weeks of the transfer window. The 24-year-old’s current contract runs through 2024.

Real Madrid were one of the other parties said to also have a concrete interest in Torres, although they haven’t made a concrete offer for him yet. Instead, as Diario AS reports, Los Blancos are focusing their attention on Jules Koundé of Sevilla — who has also been linked to Chelsea — and have already made an initial offer, as per La Razón.

Koundé has a €90m release clause in his contract, but it’s unlikely that Sevilla will receive the full amount and are willing to settle for a discounted price of €70m, in order to bring in some much-needed funds in a pandemic-affected economy. Real are said to be happy to offer €50m-€60m plus a player in exchange.

Koundé, whose current contract runs through 2024, strongly insinuated that he will be seeking a move away from the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, should good offers arrive this summer.

“It’s difficult, I have a lot of ambition and well... I have to measure what is best for me, there are still a few months left and we will see what happens. I feel good here too and staying at Sevilla will not be a bad option either.”

-Jules Koundé; source: Muchodeporte

Koundé’s future could be directly linked to that of Raphaël Varane, with the World Cup-winner emerging as a favorite to reinforce Chelsea’s backline alongside Bayern Munich’s Niklas Süle.