Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has told his bosses to make a £30 million move for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to reports in Spain.
The French defender is one of the most highly rated on the continent, and has previously attracted interest from Chelsea. Blues boss Jose Mourinho is a huge fan of the 21-year-old having handed him his debut during his time at the Bernabeu.
Now however El Mundo Deportivo are claiming that Manchester United could be in the race for his signature in the summer, with Van Gaal keen on making a big-money bid to keep him from Chelsea's clutches.
He won't come cheap however, and El Mundo Deportivo say that it will take a bid of €40 million for Real Madrid to take the interest seriously.
The Red Devils are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements in the summer having struggled with injuries at the back throughout this season, As it stands Van Gaal has three senior centre-backs he can call upon - Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones - while Marco Rojo and Daley Blind can also operate at the back.
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The Dutch boss failed to bolster his defensive ranks when he first took over at Old Trafford after letting veteran duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leave the club, and so far this term they've shipped 26 league goals.
Despite being highly rated at Real Madrid, Varane has cut a frustrated figure this season having been forced to play back up to Sergio Ramos and Pepe at times. The former Lens defender has started just 12 La Liga appearances this season and Manchester United will hope they can take advantage of his frustrations and lure him to Old Trafford.
Chelsea may still have something to say about that and could make a move, even though John Terry looks set to pen a new one-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Anyone who has spent any time watch Varane will tell you that he is a major talent, but £30 million for someone who can't make it into the Real Madrid team seems excessive. The Red Devils haven't exactly enjoyed unbridled success with their Spanish imports from last summer either so they may think twice before splashing the cash.
Indeed it may be time to put the cheque book away and develop one of the many talented youngsters at the club.
Is Raphael Varane the right man for Manchester United?
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