Juan Mata has labelled rumoured Manchester United transfer target Pau Torres as ‘very good’ while identifying Villarreal’s best players ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday night.
The squad has travelled to Gdansk, Poland, for the eager anticipated final where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to win his first trophy as Manchester United manager.
Although Stretty News doesn’t believe United are actively pursuing Torres, the final gives the manager a chance to watch the centre-back up close as he looks to sign a new defender this summer.
Talks have already taken place with Raphael Varane’s representatives and only time will tell if the Frenchman leaves the Bernabeu this summer.
Mata clearly rates Torres highly – but Villarreal also have a lot more going for them.
“If we talk about the present, with Unai on the bench, it’s a very well-organised team with quality, with players that I know very well,” Mata told Manchester United. “It’s difficult to play against his teams.
“I played with some of their players. Raul Albiol, centre-back, we played together in Valencia and the national team, [Dani] Parejo, great midfielder, Paco Alcacer, striker and very good finisher.
“They’ve got a great striker in Gerardo Moreno, they’ve got quality in the midfield, a very good centre-back in Pau Torres. Sergio Asenjo, one of the goalkeepers, was also my team-mate in the Spanish Under-21s. I know them very well, they’ve beaten good teams in this season’s Europa League, like Arsenal.”
It remains to be seen if Mata will get any minutes in Gdansk – or even make the bench – but the manager may include him at some point for his experience in European Cup finals.
Mata is looking to lift a 10th major trophy and a fourth with United. He has already won the Europa League three times.