Chelsea have cleared Jose Mourinho to spend as much as £40million to beat off Manchester United and land his top target in the coming summer transfer window – young defender Rafael Varane.
According to the Sun on Sunday, Mourinho is the favourite ahead of Louis van Gaal to snap up the Real Madrid star, who has found places in Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI difficult to come by this season and could be persuaded to leave.
The report claims Manchester United have made a centre-back their priority this summer and Varane would fit the bill perfectly for Van Gaal’s squad. Defence has been an issue all season for the Dutch coach, with numerous different combinations tried and none fully convincing.
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However, the Red Devils were beaten to the former Lens star’s signature by Real Madrid in 2011 and it was Mourinho who was in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu at the time. The report claims Varane would be keen to work with the Portuguese again, a boost for Chelsea.
£40million is the price being mooted for the 21-year-old, who has been down in the pecking order in Madrid behind Pepe and Sergio Ramos. Pepe is set to sign a new contract with los Blancos next week and this will cement Varane’s place as back-up.
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Worth The Cost
If this turns into an expensive battle between Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, it will be worth every penny because Varane is the kind of player that could make a crucial difference to either squad.
Captaining France already at such a young age is an indicator of his mature mentality – a mentality that is matched by his athletic excellence and strong technical abilities. He has struggled at times over the past season or two at Madrid, but that is expected of a player so young.
John Terry has signed a new one-year extension with the Blues, but his long-term replacement needs to be bedded in behind him soon. Kurt Zouma has impressed at times this season, but he is yet to reach the level of Varane, who would be a perfect fit.
Why Ancelotti has let it get to the point where one of the best young players in Europe wants to leave is puzzling, but Manchester United and Chelsea must ask questions later and act fast now.
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