According to the Sun, Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has dealt Arsenal a blow in their hopes of signing Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres.
Balague shattered the Gunners’ hopes of signing the 23-year-old this summer during his latest YouTube Q&A that is in association with Spanish publication Diario Sport.
The Sun report that Mikel Arteta saw Torres as one of his top defensive targets this summer and that the Gunners even enlisted the help of legend Santi Cazorla to get an inside track on the ace.
It’s added that Torres would be available for £43m due to the release clause in the defender’s contract that runs until 2024.
Balague had this to say on the Spaniard’s future:
“Pau Torres? Not on the move. Villarreal wants to keep him. He wants to stay and he wants to develop at Villarreal.”
Torres has established himself as an important player in the Villarreal side after an impressive season out on loan in the Spanish Second Division with Malaga.
The 23-year-old’s fine form earned him a first cap for Spain back in November, Torres even turned this occasion into a double celebration by bagging a goal on his debut for La Furia Roja.
Torres is also a left-sided centre-back which makes him a much more attractive option to top sides.
Mikel Arteta needs to bolster Arsenal’s defensive ranks in the next transfer window as the Gunners still look shaky at the back – which is proving costly to the sides hopes of returning to their former glory.
Torres’ age also make him an ideal option for the north London outfit, Arsenal will have to replace the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis soon as they are approaching the final years of their careers at the top.
Given Balague’s recent update, it appears as though the Gunners will have to settle for other targets at centre-back.