That is according to a report in the Manchester Evening News, which claims that United are the more likely to the move for the central defender as they aim to bolster their defence.
City invested significantly in Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake last summer so are unlikely to go into the market for another central defender, but the report adds they maintain a strong admiration of Torres.
United are a more likely destination, as they seek a long-term defensive partner for club captain Harry Maguire.
Torres has become a mainstay in the heart of the Villarreal defence, helping them to a top five finish last season alongside winning seven caps for the Spanish national team.
It continues a sharp rise to prominence for the central defender, who broke onto the scene in the 2018/19 campaign when he starred on a loan spell at second tier Malaga.
Spain boss Luis Enrique said on the defender late last year, as per Marca: “I like him to as a left-handed central defender. It does not condition me, but I must admit that I like him. I like everything about Pau, because I like the players who are able to carry the ball out and I like his tactical sense.
“I like everything about him; he’s tall, handsome and a good kid.”