Over the past few years, there was a desperate need at Manchester City to sign a centre-back.

It took some time, but Pep Guardiola eventually got the balance he wanted, as showcased by the Etihad club’s dominance of the Premier League this season.

Nathan Aké and Rúben Dias were two players the club spent heavily on last summer, but there were other targets being looked at around the same time. 

One of those was Pau Torres, currently at Villarreal, who has attracted a lot of attention over the past year or so with his performances, including that of both Manchester clubs.

While it’s United who have the more pressing need in defence these days, it’s Manchester City who are linked by Corriere dello Sport on Tuesday.

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The Italian newspaper state, as part of an article looking at Lazio’s plans going forward, Real Madrid are providing competition, ‘seemingly willing to pay the €50m release clause to get him’, while the Premier League leaders and Juventus are ‘also on his trail’.

Should the La Liga giants do that, however, they would be massively overpaying, as Corriere explain Villarreal ‘will not let him leave for less than €25m + bonuses’.

That’s quite a considerable decrease from his release clause, and if that were the case, you’d expect one of the Manchester clubs to snap him up.

We’re going to take this one with a pinch of salt for now, because we simply can’t see the Spanish club letting their star man leave for that little, especially with a contract running until 2024.