Chelsea and Manchester United told to pay £19m for Raphael Varane

Varane is wanted by the Premier League giants (©GettyImages)

Real Madrid have informed both Chelsea and Manchester United that they will have to cough up around £19 million in order to land defender Raphael Varane, according to the Express.

The French international is highly rated as one of the best young defenders in the game, but is out in the cold at the Bernabeu as things stand. Coach Carlo Ancelotti favours a defensive pairing of Sergio Ramos and Pepe, meaning Varane's made just three La Liga starts this term.

Injuries

That appears to have opened the door to both Manchester United and Chelsea, who are both keen. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has seen his defensive unit decimated by injury which has impacted their form in the first part of the season. The likes of Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have spent much of the season on the sidelines, while Marcos Rojo is likely to be out of action until the new year having dislocated his shoulder in the Manchester derby.

That means he will likely be forced to dip into the transfer market in the new year, which could prompt a move for Varane - although there has been some suggestions that the Dutchman will wait until the summer when his top targets are available.

Battle

Chelsea may have something to say about that having been linked with the 21-year-old for some time now. It was Mourinho who gave Varane his first run in the team during his time in charge at Real Madrid, and it seems he is keen on linking back up once more.

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While the Special One has both John Terry and Gary Cahill as his first choice pairing he only has the untested Kurt Zouma as back up, and would seemingly like more options with one eye on the future.

According to the Express Real Madrid are willing to sell up in the January window, and have told both Manchester United and Chelsea that £19 million will do the trick. The paper adds that if the Blues are indeed successful in their pursuit of the Madrid man, then Manchester United will up their interest in Gerard Pique, who is said to be unhappy at Barcelona.

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