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Arsenal moved ahead Chelsea and Man city to sign Villarrel centre-back Pau Torres

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Arsenal have reportedly moved ahead of Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in signing Villarreal center-back Pau Torres

The Spaniard, 22, has caught the eye of Unai Emery and Arsenal’s scouting staff after the young defender – rewarded with a five-year contract in the summer – made an impressive start to the La Liga campaign.

Former Gunners’ midfielder and fan-favorite Santi Cazorla, now of Villarreal himself, is thought to have alerted Arsenal to the burgeoning talent of Torres.

90min report: ‘Arsenal have already expressed a strong interest in Torres and they’re considering making a move for the defender next summer’.

Thanks to a release clause in his contract, Torres is available from €50m but Arsenal will be looking to bring the price down in any prospective deal.

Torres has played every minute of Villarreal’s league campaign so far and the center-back opened his account for the Yellow Submarine in May against Osasuna.

His eye-catching displays this season have seen the 6ft 4in defender earn a call-up to the Spain national team, despite Torres not being a regular feature among the youth set-up.