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Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres is the latest player linked with a move to Chelsea as they prepare for a defensive rebuild in the summer transfer window. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are both set to leave Stamford Bridge on free transfers leaving big gaps to plug in the backline.
Thomas Tuchel is facing a busy summer with midfield renovations also on cards. A number of targets have emerged to bolster their defence, with Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde thought to be high on their list of priorities. As things stand, only Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah will remain of their out-and-out centre-back options, although Cesar Azpilicueta and Malang Sarr have each played in the back-three on occasion.
Now a new name has joined the list of targets in the form of Villarreal defender Pau Torres, according to Fabrizio Romano. Torres was heavily linked with moves to Manchester United and Tottenham last summer as he helped Spain to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, but no move materialised.
However, his reasoning for staying may give Chelsea hope that they could complete a deal this summer. Speaking in November, Torres revealed that leaving was never an option after helping his hometown club into the Champions League, something he claimed was a dream of his to do.
“The pull of playing the Champions League with the team from my town was bigger,” he told The Guardian back in November. “I was clear from the start. This is only the fourth time Villarreal reached the Champions League, which shows how hard it is, and it was a dream to play in the competition with my lifelong club.
“The president didn’t put pressure on me, even though they could make a lot of money. He always said ‘the decision’s yours’, that he’d respect it. I appreciate that.
“What I could experience with the club was unrepeatable. I’m comfortable in my town, with my close people, and the group we have and the people we signed – [Arnaut] Danjuma, Boulaye [Dia], Gerard [Moreno] renewed. I’m enjoying it. It’s a special year, the group is very close, that’s why I stayed.”
Now into the competition’s semi-finals after knocking out Bayern Munich, Villarreal could soon receive an approach from Chelsea. Having fulfilled his dream of playing in the Champions League with the club, he may feel that the time is now right to move on, with Tuchel perfectly placed to benefit.
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