Manchester United have been linked with a whole host of players since Jose Mourinho’s appointment last month, and that will no doubt continue throughout the summer transfer window.
The Portuguese manager is tasked with taking United back to the top of English football after three underwhelming campaigns since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. To do so, he knows that he needs to sign some world-class talent to get the Red Devils challenging for honours once again.
There has already been one arrival at Old Trafford with the capture of Eric Bailly - for a fee believed to be in the region of £30 million - but United fans will be hoping there are plenty more signings this summer.
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While Mourinho has already completed the signing of one centre-back in Bailly, Spanish newspaper Marca believe he is keen to sign another one.
That’s because they’re reporting that ‘The Special One’ is interested in purchasing Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane. The report states that the Los Blancos defender is unhappy at the Bernabeu and could be allowed to leave this summer.
With Sergio Ramos and Pepe being the preferred centre-backs in the Spanish capital, Varane has had to make do with a place on the bench under Zinedine Zidane and he may want to leave in order to play first-team football.
While the Red Devils only conceded 35 goals in the Premier League last season - the joint best defensive record - Chris Smalling lacked a solid partner. Daley Blind was often employed there but centre-back isn’t the Dutchman’s natural role.
With the signings of Bailly and Varane along with Smalling, Mourinho would boast three top quality centre-backs ahead of next season.
Mourinho obviously knows all about Varane having managed him for two seasons at Madrid. During that time, the pair won the 2011/12 La Liga title as Mourinho helped integrate the youngster into the first-team.
Now, at the age of 23, Varane knows he needs to start playing regular football to fulfil his incredible potential. Therefore, leaving Madrid could be the best thing for his career and a move to United and a reunion with Mourinho could appeal.
Last month, Varane hinted that he’s open to leaving Madrid this summer.
"It's true that I would have liked to have been a part of the more decisive games at the end of the season - especially in the Champions League," he said.
"After five years at Real Madrid, I hope I am able to overcome any kind of obstacle. I feel I'm at a crucial point in my career.
"I think all players need to feel as though they are developing - it's important to feel you are making progress and that's something I aim to do every day. I am aware of what qualities I have and what I am capable of."
While United supporters would prefer raiding Zidane’s side for Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Luka Modric, they won’t be complaining if they manage to secure the service of Varane in the coming months.