Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres has admitted that he decided to turn down Tottenham’s big-money offer in the summer as he was keen to play Champions League football with his hometown club.
Torres has emerged as one of the most elegant and reliable central defenders in La Liga over the last two years and has become an integral part of Luis Enrique’s Spain team.
Tottenham reportedly tabled an offer worth £55 million for the Villarreal man during the summer but he chose to stay put at his boyhood club.
Sources from Spain have revealed that Villarreal had accepted Spurs’ bid but the 24-year-old “preferred to wait for a better offer”.
According to reports, Spurs were not just prepared to pay a mammoth transfer fee to Villarreal in the summer but were also ready to pay Torres four times what he currently earns at the La Liga club.
When asked about why he did not join Tottenham, the defender told The Guardian: “The pull of playing the Champions League with the team from my town was bigger. I was clear from the start.
“This is only the fourth time Villarreal reached the Champions League, which shows how hard it is and it was a dream to play the competition with my lifelong club.
“The president didn’t put pressure on me, even though they could make a lot of money. He always said ‘the decision’s yours,’ that he’d respect it. I appreciate that.
“What I could experience with the club was unrepeatable. I’m comfortable in my town, with my people close, and the group we have and the people we signed – [Arnaut] Danjuma, Boulaye [Dia], Gerard [Moreno] renewed … – meant we had a team to do great things.
“I’m enjoying it. It’s a special year, the group is very close, that’s why I stayed.”
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Paratici certainly went after top of the line centre-backs in the form of Romero, Torres and Kounde during the summer.
The fact that some of those deals did not go through suggests that there is still money in the transfer kitty to try again for the same calibre of defenders in January.
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