Real Madrid’s decision to hand Pepe a new contract in order to ward off interest from the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City could see a host of clubs get the opportunity to sign Raphael Varane, according to reports in Europe.
French newspaper Le 10 Sport, playing on rumours instigated by Spanish mouthpiece Marca, claims that if Pepe sees his time at the Santiago Bernabeu extended then it could spell the end of Varane at Madrid, as the youngster isn’t willing to continue sitting on the bench.
Varane at Real
Since his emergence to the Real fold, awarded to him by Jose Mourinho after being signed by RC Lens in 2011, the France international has largely been used as an understudy to both Pepe and Sergio Ramos, despite impressing on a regular basis.
The partnership of the aforementioned defenders has continued to stifle Varane under Carlo Ancelotti, and moving to offer Pepe a new deal would surely send mixed messages to a player many believe to be amongst the best in the world for his age.
Big move on the horizon?
In turn that’s tipped to give the likes of United and Chelsea the avenue they need to take Varane to the Premier League, with Mourinho a known admirer of his talents and Louis van Gaal on the look out for players to bolster his back line.
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Chelsea’s interest could be heightened as John Terry edges towards the end of his career, though the arrival of Varane would call into question Kurt Zouma’s purchase from St. Etienne last year.
Meanwhile United don’t have such issues, with the trio of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans not considered strong enough to give their team the longevity and consistency to challenge for major silverware.
Real to remain resolute
Admittedly it’s highly unlikely Real would be prepared to entertain offers for their burgeoning centre-back, particularly as he has a good rapport with the fans. Most recent speculation has him pegged at a handsome £30 million, though his worth to them in the future would almost certainly see that figure rise.
Of course for now it’s all by the by unless Pepe is indeed handed a new deal. United and City are both mooted to have him on their respective radars, but his lack of discipline and knowledge of Premier League football could scupper a transfer if other options become available.