Manchester United linked with Real Madrid's Raphael Varane - The Verdict

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Real Madrid are willing to sell Raphael Varane to Manchester United this summer, according to reports

After almost ten years in Madrid, Varane’s stay in the Spanish capital could be coming to an end.

Manchester Evening News reports that Madrid are not holding out much hope that the 27-year-old will sign a new deal with the club.

Therefore, instead of losing the defender on a free transfer next year, Madrid would prefer to offload the defender this summer for a fee, with Manchester United a potential destination.

Although it feels as though Varane - who Transfermarkt value at £63m - has been around forever, it’s important to note that the Frenchman will only turn 28 in April.

Harry Maguire is of the same age and Victor Lindelof is only a few years behind at 26.

Varane's pedigree is of course without doubt. He's won four Champions League titles during his time at the Bernabeu and started for France in the 2018 World Cup final. 

But is Varane the signing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to truly take United to the next level?

GIVEMESPORT writers Tom Kelly, Sam Brookes, Josh Cole and Jonnie Gorrie have their say below - all statistics correct prior to this weekend's action...

Tom Kelly

“Bruno Fernandes has stolen the headlines in recent months, and deservedly so, but the success of the Manchester United defence has gone slightly under the radar - only three clubs have kept more clean sheets than them this season.

“However, when a player of Varane’s calibre becomes available, United would be kicking themselves if they didn’t take this opportunity.

“Varane has won everything there is to win during his ten-year stay at Real Madrid and it’s time for a new challenge.

"For United, meanwhile, a player of Varane’s defensive quality could be the final ingredient in ending the club’s eight-year wait for the league title.

“As the old adage goes: ‘Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles’. They have Fernandes in attack, now they just need to lure the Frenchman to Manchester.”

Sam Brookes 

"Varane has achieved so much in the game. Having won multiple Spanish titles, Champions Leagues and, of course, the World Cup in 2018 it would appear to be a no-brainer for United to sign him.

"However, there are some doubts as to whether Varane’s level has dropped slightly from what it was a few years ago. Real Madrid have not won the Champions League since 2018 and based on their performance against a 10-man Atalanta side recently, they will not be ending that run this year.

"The side’s exit from Europe’s elite cup competition last year also raised alarm bells. With Sergio Ramos suspended for the second leg of the last 16 tie against Manchester City, Varane was expected to step up and take responsibility for marshalling the defence. Instead, he made two poor errors as Real were dumped out by Pep Guardiola’s side.

"Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have looked hesitant as a pairing at times this season, signalling that United need a dominant figure at the back. Varane may not be the player to fill that role, though."

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Whose career is this?

Josh Cole

"This is surely a no-brainer for United as it is imperative that they make improvements to their defence if they are to mount a challenge for the Premier League title next season.

"With a proven track-record of delivering the goods at the highest level, Varane has emerged as one of the best central defenders in the world over the past few years and is currently a mainstay in Madrid's starting eleven having made 31 appearances in all competitions this season.

"Despite the ongoing injury issues that Sergio Ramos is suffering from, Madrid have benefitted considerably from the presence of Varane at the back as he has helped them keep a total of 11 clean sheets in La Liga.

"When you consider that United's current centre-back pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have struggled to maintain consistency during the current campaign, Solskjaer ought to sign the France international this summer - doing so could transform his side's fortunes."

Jonathan Gorrie

"Here we go again with the Raphael Varane to Manchester United story.

"Back in 2015, United were used by Sergio Ramos in order to help him secure a big new deal in the Spanish capital and, truthfully, it's hard to see anything different happening here. Indeed, the Spanish giants are no longer as flush with his cash as they were a few years ago so it does seem impossible to imagine they'd be in a position to sell one of Europe's elite defenders without needing to spend hugely to replace him.

"With that in mind, it's hard to believe it would ever come to pass. A serial winner over the course of his career, he's stepped up in Ramos' absence this season and even emerged as a palpable goal threat, in the mould of his celebrated defensive teammate.

"United shouldn't let themselves be used again."

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