Man United 'open to swapping Paul Pogba' for 77-cap World Cup winner this summer

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in action for France

According to Spanish outlet AS, Manchester United are willing to use Paul Pogba in a trade deal to sign Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane this summer.

What's the latest news on Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane?

AS claim that Man United are open to a swap deal with Real Madrid involving Pogba and Varane this summer.

The report suggests that the French central defender is one of United's main targets. But citing English sources, the Spanish outlet claim the Red Devils would not be keen on spending more than €40m (£34.3m).

Therefore, Pogba could be included in the deal instead.

How long has Varane been a United target for? 

As per Manchester Evening News, Man United came close to signing the France international as an 18-year-old in 2011 under Sir Alex Ferguson. The legendary boss revealed in his 2015 book 'Leading' that Real Madrid pipped United to Varane from under their noses, despite being in talks with the defender.

According to The Mirror in 2016, former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho was also a keen admirer of the 77-cap France international, however Varane revealed that he was keen to remain at the Bernabeu at the time.

Manchester Evening News also reported that in 2018, Ed Woodward earmarked the Madrid centre-back as a dream signing for United before he stepped aside from the club's recruitment strategy.

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Does Paul Pogba want to leave United?

In the past Pogba has suggested that he would consider a move away from Old Trafford and in 2019 he stated that it could be a good time to have a new challenge elsewhere.

As per Sky Sports, Pogba said, "After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well, I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this."

Last year, the midfielder's agent Mino Raiola stated that it was over between United and Pogba, and he added that the player is unhappy at Old Trafford.

In an interview with Tuttosport as per ESPN, Raiola said, "It's over between Manchester United and Pogba." He added, "Paul is unhappy at Manchester United."

In December 2020, ESPN revealed that Pogba's preference is to join Real Madrid and suggested that Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain had all been interested parties in the past.

In short, just as United have been tracking Varane for a number of years, doubts over Pogba's future at Old Trafford have persisted for some time. 

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Who gets the better of this swap deal?

The deal would be beneficial for all parties.

United desperately need a centre-back to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defence. In the captain's absence at the end of the season, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly conceded eight goals in four league games

Whilst losing Pogba would be a blow to United, the World Cup winner is still yet to find his best position in the starting line-up at the Manchester outfit having ended up on the left wing this term.

Both players have one year remaining on their current deals, therefore a straight swap would be a good deal for both sides. In 12 months' time both Frenchmen could leave their respective clubs for nothing.

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