Premier League transfer news: Real Madrid look set to cash-in on Man United target

Marca claims that Raphael Varane could be sold by Real Madrid to allow the club to reinvest in their squad this summer.

What's the latest news on Varane?

The French defender was offered a contract extension by Real several months ago, but has not signed it yet. He will soon enter the final year of his current deal, and the Spanish champions appear to have accepted that he is ready to move on.

They are now weighing up the option of selling him at the end of the season and bringing in a new central defender - they are reportedly interested in Villarreal's Pau Torres and Sevilla's Jules Kounde.

This has opened the door for Manchester United, who have been linked with Varane in recent months.

What's the significance of Marca's report?

Multiple British publications have reported United's interest in Varane. The Manchester Evening News claimed last month that Real were happy to let Varane move to Old Trafford, whilst the Daily Mail reported this week that United were exploring the possibility of tempting Varane over to the Premier League. Now, Marca have added their voice to the mix.

Marca have been closely associated with Real for a number of years, so it is a major boost for United that the paper's latest update is stating that Real are open to the idea of selling Varane.

It suggests that everything is heading in the right direction from a United point of view with regards to landing their man this summer, and that the recent claims in the English press aren't pure conjecture.

With Varane and Real seemingly aligned that a parting of the ways is somewhat inevitable, this should make things easier for United when it comes to negotiating a deal for the player. 

How much is Varane worth?

Real have set an asking price of £60m for Varane, although United are hopeful of bringing this value down when they enter discussions with the Spanish giants.

Given that Real are said to be eyeing Kounde, valued at €60m (£52m), or Torres, who will cost €65m (£57m), as potential replacements for Varane, it seems unlikely that they will be willing to significantly lower their price-tag for the star defender.

Is Varane world-class?

Undoubtedly so, and he has proven it over a sustained period.

Over the past decade he has racked up 355 appearances for Los Blancos, winning four Champions League trophies and three league titles.

On the international stage, he won the World Cup in 2018 with France, playing every minute of the tournament. He also reached the European Championship final in 2016, only to lose to Portugal. He will get the chance to go one step further at this summer's edition of the competition.

All these trophies and medals highlight that he is the real deal.

Perfect partner for Harry Maguire?

It looks that way.

Playing at the heart of Real's defence this year, Varane has ensured that the side have conceded just 24 goals in their 30 La Liga matches to date. Meanwhile, United have shipped 34 goals in their 31 Premier League fixtures.

These are not horrendous numbers for Ole Gunnar's Solskjaer's side by any means, but they could certainly do with Varane's added touch of class.

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Who is this former Newcastle player?

Harry Maguire has been a reliable presence at the back, receiving an average match rating of 7.07 from WhoScored in the league. His centre-back partner Victor Lindelof has not been as impressive, earning an average mark of 6.71.

Solskjaer's men have consolidated their place in the top four this year, and will want to kick on to challenge for big trophies next term. Maguire has led the backline well, and now needs someone to slot in alongside him to help the side move into title contention in 2021/22. Varane could be the player to fulfil that role.