Barcelona contact Villarreal to sign €50 million-rated centre-back – report
After months of speculations, it appears Barcelona are set to lose out on the race to sign Jules Kounde. The Sevilla starlet is currently on the verge of joining Chelsea, whose offer was simply too good to turn down for either party.
With Kounde likely to arrive at Stamford Bridge, Barcelona are scouring the market for alternatives, with Pau Torres emerging as one of the ideal candidates.
According to Jose Alvarez Haya of El Chiringuito, Barça have already taken the initial steps to sign Torres, having contacted Villarreal and seeking the possibility of securing the defender ahead of the new season.
Villarreal are currently open to a sale for Torres as they are in desperate need of a financial injection. The Yellow Submarines reached the Champions League semi-final last season but are set to compete in the Conference League this time around.
It has taken a huge toll on their revenue, and the ongoing financial crisis across the world is not making things any easier.
As such, Villarreal are ready to offload Pau Torres in the summer, with Barcelona emerging as one of the potential destinations. The player, on his part, is keen on joining Barça and becoming a key outlet in Xavi’s defensive setup in the years to come.
With the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, Torres believes a move to a top club like Barcelona could increase his chances of becoming Spain’s first-choice centre-back n the coveted tournament.
As for Barcelona’s negotiations with Villarreal, the club rate the defender at around €40-50 million, which makes the operation quite tricky for Blaugrana.
However, Villarreal are open to a player plus cash deal, which would lower the overall cost of the operation for Barça. Abde Ezzalzouli is one such player mooted to be a part of the negotiations, with Villarreal themselves keen on signing the youngster this summer.