Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand believes Chelsea would need to pay up to £70 million to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The Manchester United hero, who left Old Trafford after 12 years this summer, indicated that the France international is worth double the figure Manchester City paid for Eliaquim Mangala on Monday.
The Citizens paid out a reported £31 million fee to land Mangala from FC Porto, making him one of the most expensive central defenders of all time.
The deal was concluded just under two months since French champions Paris Saint-Germain made David Luiz the most expensive defender in football history by shelling out a staggering £50 million.
And Ferdinand suggested that Varane, if sold, would command an even higher transfer fee.
Ferdinand: Varane could cost £70m
The 35-year-old tweeted: “Mangala 31m & Luiz 50m...how much would Varane cost with these valuations at the moment ??! 60-70m??”
Chelsea have a long-standing interest in Varane, with manager Jose Mourinho a huge fan of the 21-year-old centre-back. The Blues’ boss brought the Frenchman to the Bernabeu as a highly-rated teenager from Lens in 2011, and he has since blossomed into Europe’s best young central defender.
Watch: Raphael Varane in action
Mourinho more likely to sign Benatia
Naturally, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is keen to keep him at Real Madrid and will not entertain any offers for the youngster.
Mourinho, knowing this, appears to have set his sights on signing AS Roma’s Morocco international Mehdi Benatia instead. Reports this morning claim that Chelsea are on the brink of securing the 27-year-old’s signature for £30 million.
Ferdinand cost £30m in 2002
Back in 2002, Manchester United paid the same fee to sign Ferdinand from Leeds United. When jokingly reminded of this by a Twitter follower, the former England international retorted: "like L'Oreal "because I'm worth it" !!"
Indeed, Ferdinand went on to become a key player for the Red Devils over the next 12 years, and will be remembered as one of the Red Devils’ all-time great defenders.
Ferdinand added: "Imagine how much these guys would cost today-a fit King & Woodgate, Terry, Caragher, Sol, Vidic,Stam,Nesta,Ayala!? Never mind Franz & Bobby!"
Pellegrini excited by Mangala
However, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is firmly of the option that Mangala will flourish at the Etihad Stadium and become one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
"He is already a fine player but in my opinion, he has all of the mental, physical, technical and tactical attributes to become one of Europe's very best defenders,” the Chilean told reporters. "Eliaquim is a player I believe will make an immediate impact in the Premier League, thanks to his physicality, his reading of the game and quality on the ball."