Malaga want Manchester United target Torres

Atletico Madrid

Spanish side Malaga have been linked with signing a teenager believed to be on the radar of Manchester United.

When the summer comes around, expect Atletico Madrid to play an integral part in the transfer merry-go-round.

They hold the biggest chip in European and World football in star striker Falcao, and where they sell him to and how much will dictate the plans of many top sides.

Then there is the issue of his replacement, there is even talk they are negotiating with David Villa's representatives, which would be a blow to Arsenal, and potentially send Barcelona into the market for a new forward.

While they have seemingly accepted they will have to sell Falcao, one player they are keen to avoid selling is young starlet Oliver Torres.

Torres is an attacking midfielder who has only made one La Liga appearance, but at the age of 18 he is one of Spanish football's hottest young properties.

Manchester United have been tracking him for more than a year, with scout Martin Ferguson going to watch him in action, having first been identified as a target when he played for his club at a youth tournament in Manchester.

Now it has emerged they face fresh competition. Reports in Spain have claimed Atletico's La Liga rivals Malaga want to sign the player.

It makes sense to move now, if they can get him, and that applies to United. Having picked him out as potential star - either club could aim to snap him up for a reduced fee before he becomes a star.

He is on the cusp of the first team at present, but when he breaks through, and starts scoring and creating goals, his price will rocket, in a similar way to how David de Gea's price tag reached £20 million soon after breaking through at Atletico.

Torres has always maintained he wants to stay at his club, but if Malaga come in with a bid and offer him enhanced first team opportunities, especially if they are forced to sell off stars like Isco this summer due to their finances, this will be an interesting one to watch.

image: © azuaje

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED FC team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch