Manchester United look set to beat Arsenal to the signing of Lens defender Raphael Varane, according to the Daily Mirror.

The French centre-back has attracted much interest from the Premier League duo and is reportedly set for a move to the north-west.

Despite being linked strongly with a move to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger's extensive knowledge of the French transfer market, United have snuck in under the radar and lead the race for the 6ft 3ins Varane.


United have seen a host of injury problems in defence threaten to derail their season, with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans all having spent time on the sidelines and Varane would provide competition with the trio and Chris Smalling.

While United have survived constant injuries to their back four, Arsenal have failed to cope under such restrictions, as defensive problems have undermined their title aspirations in a season in which the Gunners lie nine points off the top.

As well as the 18-year-old, Arsenal and United have been linked with Gary Cahill to help solve their defensive problems, and move that the north-londoners may now be open to.

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