Arsenal are reportedly preparing to hijack Manchester United’s £35m transfer move for Pau Torres in January.

Both sides are still thought to want to bring in another centre-half to bolster their defences when the window reopens.

And according to Spanish website todofichajes.com, Edu and Mikel Arteta have a plan to land Torres.

The 23-year-old Villarreal defender has attracted plenty of interest over the past couple of years – including from both the Gunners and the Red Devils.

Now the two Premier League sides are reportedly ready to battle it out for the player’s signature.

Torres joined the Yellow Submarine way back in 2002 and progressed right through the academy, C team, B team and made his senior team debut in 2016 in a Copa del Rey clash.

He spent the 2018-19 term on loan at Malaga before returning last year to seal his spot in the heart of the club’s defence.

His strong displays saw him win his first Spain cap in November of 2019, coming on as a substitute for the living legend Sergio Ramos and scoring a minute later in the 7-0 thumping of Malta.

Arsenal signed Gabriel Magalhaes in the summer and made Pablo Mari’s move permanent while David Luiz was offered a contract extension.

Rob Holding, Luiz and Gabriel have started the term but the Gunners also have Calum Chambers, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and William Saliba.

The Greek youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos is on loan with the German club Stuttgart for the season.

But with Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi expected to be moved on in the coming year, the addition of Pau would further strengthen Arsenal’s defence – if the club can convince ex-boss, Unai Emery, to do business.