Erik ten Hag has approved the signing of Pau Torres at Manchester United, according to reports. The Spain international was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford a year ago. However, he ultimately decided to stay at Villarreal instead – helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in the time since.
Manchester United want a new defender this summer.
And links to Torres are getting stronger, with 90min now claiming Ten Hag has ‘approved’ a deal for the Spain international.
United were interested in acquiring the centre-back a year ago, back when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruled the roost.
However, following the acquisition of Raphael Varane from La Liga titans Real Madrid, Torres then decided to stay with Unai Emery’s team.
According to the report, United’s interest remains.
Any final decision was due to be made in conduction’ with their new boss and Ten Hag has now ‘signalled his intent’ for a transfer to take place.
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Ten Hag believes Harry Maguire and Varane both need increased competition in order to improve.
And it’s stated that the 52-year-old is willing to jettison Victor Lindelof, who will be allowed to leave for the right price.
That said, Eric Bailly is still the ‘most likely’ defensive casualty as the summer transfer window creeps closer.
The Ivory Coast international penned a new contract last year after Solskjaer guaranteed him more game time.
Yet he went on to make just four Premier League appearances over the course of the campaign, with Ralf Rangnick marginalising him further.
Chelsea and Tottenham are also interested in Torres, with the Premier League giants having Champions League football to offer.
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But United are frontrunners at the current moment in time as they plan for a brighter future with Ten Hag at the helm.
As well as Bailly and Lindelof, two other defenders are up for sale over at Old Trafford.
United have had Phil Jones on their books ever since 2011, back when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.
But with the England international suffering with injuries throughout his time at the club, the Red Devils are keen to get him off the wage bill.
Axel Tuanzebe was once tipped for a bright future, particularly when Solskjaer was manager.
However, after torrid loan spells at Aston Villa and Napoli, the 24-year-old is expected to be cut loose.
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Ten Hag, meanwhile, has reflected on his time at Ajax and insisted he’s ‘very happy’ of his legacy in Amsterdam.
“It’s all about that. It’s all about winning titles,” the 52-year-old told club media in his first interview on Monday.
“When you start a project, what we did in Ajax, the project was I had to make Ajax Europe-proof, and we wanted to be back on top in Holland.
“When I started PSV was on top, and we changed it. In the last four years, we were the number one continually.
“I’m happy and satisfied that we achieved that purpose. It was important also to finish in my last season as number one.
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“There was PSV and also Feyenoord who were huge competitors, but finally we won the battle and I’m very happy about that.”
On his greatest achievement, he added: “It’s difficult to choose as you are continually number one, but our journeys in Europe were magnificent.
“I really enjoyed it and in my first whole season we achieved a semi-final and I think that was the best performance.
“I think it was a really good performance because it’s not that easy for a club in Holland, not a big league, to compete with the European top clubs.
“We did and we had some magnificent results. Finally, we were short before the final but it was a magnificent journey we had and the football we played we really enjoyed it, and I believe also the audience in Europe they enjoyed it.”