Former Villarreal and current Aston Villa defender Pau Torres has admitted that in 2021, he was in talks with Real Madrid over a potential move, but the transfer failed to materialise as the Los Blancos decided to go for David Alaba instead.
In 2021, Real Madrid had a major overhaul, especially in defence with both Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos departing from Santiago Bernabeu.
While the former moved to England, joining Manchester United, Ramos decided to sign for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
These two departures forced Madrid to look for alternatives in the market and Torres, then playing for Villarreal, was seen as a target to reinforce the position.
You don’t say no to Alaba
As far as Torres is concerned, speaking in an interview (h/t Birmingham Live) he admitted that in 2021, he did not reject Real Madrid and it was, in fact, the team from the Spanish capital that decided to explore other options.
“No, I didn’t reject it. I would never reject a team like Real Madrid or Barcelona, you can never reject them,” Torres said.
“There were conversations but finally Madrid had a market option that was very good, which was to bring Alaba on a free transfer. It is very difficult to find that type of free player.”
“In the end, for a transfer to occur, many circumstances have to occur and at that moment it did not happen and absolutely nothing happens, one continues working and one’s dreams remain intact. In that sense, focused on mine,” he added.
Signing Alaba has been a good deal of business, although the Austrian professional has now started to show signs of slowing down.
The former Bayern Munich defender has not showcased the best of form in recent games, yet Carlo Ancelotti continues to trust him.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo