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Barcelona could offer Man Utd sweetener to back away from centre-back deal

Barcelona have reportedly joined the race to sign top Manchester United centre-back target Pau Torres from Villarreal, but could offer the Red Devils a sweetener to back away from the deal.

Torres has been strongly tipped to leave the LaLiga outfit this summer, with United emerging as the favourites to seal a deal. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to spend big money on a top-class defender to play alongside Harry Maguire, with Torres fitting the bill.

Real Madrid were also rumoured to be in the running. But they cooled their interest due to the anticipated arrival of free agent David Alaba.

But now Barcelona have thrown their hat into the ring. And Torres is said to be a ‘dream’ signing for Ronald Koeman.

The Catalan giants are in the market for a new centre-back, with Samuel Umtiti expected to be shown the door.

And Mundo Deportivo states that Barca want Torres to partner Manchester City’s Eric Garcia at the heart of their defence next season.

Garcia is expected to head back to the Nou Camp on a free transfer, having started his career in Catalonia. Torres would slot on as the left-sided defender alongside Garcia and give Koeman an exciting new defensive pairing.

However, United remain interested in the 24-year-old Torres, who has a release clause of €60million. The Red Devils certainly hold the upper hand over Barca in the financial stakes. But Torres may prefer to remain in Spain.

One way Barcelona could win the race is offering United a former target to walk away from any deal.

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Roberto up for grabs

Right-back Sergi Roberto is expected to be offloaded at the end of the season. The 29-year-old is a player United have been chasing for some time.

Wanted as a more attacking alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Roberto is set to be one of a number of fringe Barca stars who are moved on to raise funds for other targets.

The Spain international’s current contract runs out next summer. That means selling over the next couple of months gives Barca the best chance of recouping a decent fee.

The 29-year-old has made over 300 appearances for Barcelona, spending his entire professional career so far at the Camp Nou. He has won six LaLiga titles and two Champions Leagues during that time. Roberto’s ability to also play in midfield makes him an attractive proposition to any suitors.

Manchester City have also been linked in the past, but their interest has since tailed off.

United now have to weigh up whether gaining another right-back option is worth giving up the chase for a top centre-back for.

READ MORE: Pogba’s brother names Man Utd star’s next club as big transfer tipped


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