Report: Spurs now plotting move to sign £55m player ahead of Chelsea, Blues scouts tracked him all last season

Chelsea’s rivals Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly planning a move for Villarreal’s Pau Torres, despite interest from the Blues.

According to the Daily Mail, Antonio Conte’s side are keen on completing a part-exchange deal, with midfielder Giovani Lo Celso going the other way.

Torres drew attention to himself after an impressive Euro 2020 campaign, with his performances helping Villarreal reach the Champions League semi-finals.

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Premier League interest in the Spaniard has been well documented, with it being claimed Chelsea sent scouts to watch him play throughout last season.

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However, it’s believed London rivals Spurs are now aiming to beat the competition from Chelsea for 25-year-old by launching a swap offer.

The latest Daily Mail report claims that Argentine Lo Celso could be the key to securing the deal.

The 26-year-old was on loan at Villarreal from January last season, where he made 16 appearances, starting every game in the Champions League knockout stage.

The report suggests Spurs value Lo Celso at £18m, while Pau Torres’ release clause is £55m. Including the player in the deal could see the clubs negotiate the fee, and Spurs’ place in the Champions League will attract the centre-back.

The transfer could see Chelsea miss out on a defensive reinforcement, a position they require desperate cover for after Antonio Rudiger’s departure.

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Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta are also reported to be heading for the exit door, leaving Thomas Tuchel short at the back despite the return of Levi Colwill.

Despite the potential missed opportunity of Torres, speculation has picked up on Jules Kounde’s imminent transfer, with reports suggesting the deal should be done by the end of the month.

The Sevilla man appears to suit Chelsea’s – and in fact the Premier League’s – needs more, with his pace and strength superior to Torres’.

Rumours have also swirled about that Chelsea are interested in Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus, however the reported price tag of the Dutchman could be set to put the Blues off the move.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.