Real Madrid's decision to renew Pepe's contract offers Manchester United a great chance to sign highly-rated defender Raphael Varane.
The Portugal international's new deal with Los Blancos is imminent, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The hierachy at Bernabeu have decided to offer the 32-year-old defender a fresh deal which will only end in 2017.
It represents a big change within the club. More than two months ago they were studying what to do with Pepe's future. Because Pepe's contract was going to end in one-and a half year, if Madrid didn't want to lose him for cheap, they would have to give him a new deal.
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At that moment, Pepe was returning from an injury. And with young defender Varane becoming more and more mature with his game, it was thought that Pepe would be sold when the summer transfer window comes.
But a 0-4 humiliation under Atletico Madrid changed President Florentino Perez and Co.'s minds. Only after the loss did they see how important Pepe was to the team's defence.
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Carlo Ancelotti even lamented Pepe's absence as the main reason, saying: "When Pepe plays, we have a different defence. If only we could have him at Calderon," after the victory at Schalke, which saw Pepe coming back to the starting line-up and completely changed the image of Madrid's defence.
Pepe's renewal, therefore, can be seen as a bad sign for Varane's future. With Pepe and Sergio Ramos ahead of him in the pecking order, his place in the team will not be secured in at least two more years.
Big decision to make
Unlike two seasons ago, Varane doesn't intend to wait for his chance from the bench any longer. It is now a make or break time for the Frence defender. If he doesn't play regularly, his progress is surely in the danger of being slowed down, or worse, completely stuck!
Varane, therefore, should be open to a move. Chelsea have reportedly showed their interest in the French defender. Yet Manchester United are the perfect choice for him.
With John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma, there is not much room for Varane in Chelsea's defence. United, in contrast, have been looking for a top class defender for a long time. And they surely will welcome Varane with their two arms open!
Manchester United fans: Would you like to see Louis van Gaal go for Raphael Varane this summer? Or do you have an alternative central defensive option for Old Trafford? Share your thoughts below!