Looking back at Owen Hargreaves praise of Pau Torres as Manchester United ponder move

Pau Torres is one of the centre-backs Manchester United are considering signing, with both AS and Marca linking the defender with a move this week.

Torres has played against United three times over the past year, most memorably, in the Europa League final last May.

He would cost an estimated £43 million, the 50m Euros Marca claim Villarreal are looking for, as they consider cashing in, after only finishing seventh in La Liga.

Torres is a player whose qualities were praised earlier in the season by 2008 Champions League winner Owen Hargreaves, who expressed surprise Villarreal were able to hang onto him last summer.

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Hargreaves praise of Pau Torres

Hargreaves told BT Sport in September: “He’s a fantastic player. I’m quite surprised he’s still at Villarreal. English teams were looking at him.

“I think everyone was talking about Man United and even Real Madrid, I think his potential is literally that high.

“He’s got a fabulous left foot, he’s great in possession. A fantastic player so I don’t think he’ll be at Villarreal very long.”

Hargreaves’ praise of Torres’ quality on the ball refers to an attribute which will likely appeal to new manager Erik ten Hag.

It certainly looks like Torres is primed to move on, with Villarreal only qualifying for the Europa Conference League next season.

AS reports he wants to leave for a ‘first rate project’, and regards Manchester United’s rebuild under Erik ten Hag to fit that category.

United considered Torres a year ago, before moving for Raphael Varane instead. Now the club could return for him anyway, after conceding a staggering 58 goals in the league this season.

Torres’ Villarreal conceded only 37 goals in 38 La Liga games, one of the best defensive records in La Liga, and reached the Champions League semi-finals.

Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Praise from his manager Unai Emery also backs up Hargreaves’ admiration for his talent, as United weigh up a summer move.

The Villarreal boss was quoted by football.london: “Pau Torres is an amazing player – I think he’s top.

“I’ve been a coach in Sevilla, PSG, Arsenal and I’ve never seen a centre back like Pau Torres.

“I think he’s going to play at the highest level, he’s playing now in the national team but he can play in the top teams in Europe very soon.”

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