Raphael Varane reportedly wanted to stay at Real Madrid in the wake of Sergio Ramos’ departure, but is now ready to leave the club.
Manchester United are optimistic over securing a deal for Varane, who has won four Champions League titles since moving to Madrid from Lens for £9million in 2011.
The Red Devils finally confirmed the £72million signing of Jadon Sancho on Friday and have also landed Tom Heaton from Aston Villa.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been chasing a long-term partner for Harry Maguire and it’s an open secret that Varane is his first choice.
It’s been claimed that Varane has been keen on a move to Old Trafford for some time, but AS (via the Express) claim that the French international wanted to stay at the Bernabeu until recently.
The report claims the 28-year-old wanted to remain in the Spanish capital and become the senior figure in the heart of defence following Ramos’ move to Paris Saint-Germain.
But he wanted improved terms that Madrid were unwilling to offer him and has therefore had a ‘change of heart’.
It’s claimed the Spanish giants want £60million for Varane, who has just one year left on his contract.
But United want to pay closer to £35million and believe that’s a fair price given he’ll be available for free in a year’s time.
Former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes Varane would be an excellent addition to Solskjaer’s squad.
He said: “He brings an absolute winning mentality. I think he’s played in 14 finals and won 14. So there’s an absolute winning mentality, he knows how to win, he’s got great experience and he’s an unbelievable specimen by the way.
“I’ve been saying alongside Maguire he needs someone with some pace the way Man United play.
“When I’ve seen Man United in problems and in trouble in games, a lot of the time teams have been given a bit of confidence or seen a chink in the armour of Man United when they see they can get people one v one or play the ball over the defence, into one of the channels and then it’s a race.
“We haven’t had the players quick enough to do that in the centre-back areas. If you get someone like him, people start thinking ‘well we ain’t gonna play the ball over the top cos Varane is gonna eat that up.’ Someone like him, he’ll bring that authority I hope to the back line.”