Arsenal set to hijack Man Utd move for Pau Torres as Mikel Arteta eyes £35m deal

Arsenal are determined to beat Manchester United to the signing of Villarreal defender Pau Torres in January, according to reports in Spain.

Mikel Arteta bolstered his Gunners backline in the summer transfer window, forking out £27million to prise centre-half Gabriel Magalhaes away from Lille.

United were also said to be plotting a move for the Brazilian, but in the end they were beaten to his signature by their Premier League rivals.

And according to Spanish outlet Todofichajes, Arsenal could beat the Red Devils to another defensive signing when the transfer window reopens in January.

The north London club are reportedly eyeing up a potential deal for Torres, who was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford over the summer.

It is believed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retains an interest in the 23-year-old amid his search for defensive recruits, with struggling £80million star Harry Maguire still lacking a world-class defensive parent at United.

However, he is now likely to face further competition in the transfer market from Arteta and co at the turn of the year.

Villarreal reportedly value Torres at around £35million and would be willing to listen to offers for him in January.

That could spark a bidding war between Arsenal and United, although the latter have also been linked with a potential move for RB Leipzig ace Dayot Upamecano.

Nevertheless, Upamecano is hot property in European football after developing into one of the most promising young defenders in Europe at Leipzig.

Liverpool are also believed to be weighing up a move for the 21-year-old, meaning United could have two transfer battles on their hands if they attempt to strengthen Solskjaer’s defence.

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Torres, who is a product of Villarreal’s academy, would almost certainly prove the cheaper option of the two even in the event of a tug-of-war with Arsenal.

He has racked up 43 appearances for the Spanish club since emerging from their youth ranks in 2016, while also receiving five caps for his native Spain.

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