Talksport are going with the story that Manchester United and PSG will battle it out to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer.
The sports station claims that Louis van Gaal is a long-term admirer of the French international and has turned his attentions to signing him, after missing out on his central defensive colleague at the Bernabeu, Sergio Ramos, last summer.
Varane has emerged as one of the outstanding young defenders in world football during his four-year spell in the Spanish capital and earlier this month he became the youngest player ever to captain the France national team.
Following Rafa Benitez’s appointment as Real Madrid head coach in June, Varane has replaced Pepe as Ramos’ regular partner in the centre of Los Blancos defence, featuring in all eight of their league matches so far. And the classy 6ft3 defender has flourished since being given an elevated status in the side by the former Liverpool manager, making more interceptions (20), clearances (45) and blocking more shots (7) than any other player in Real’s squad.
The partnership between Ramos and Varane is one of the reasons why Rafa Benitez’s side has conceded only two goals in the league season,
Due to his age and ability, United would have to break the transfer record for a defender. Varane has a €200m release clause in his contract, but nobody is gong to pay even half of that for the defender.
But after the way the David de Gea transfer saga ended up in black eye for both clubs, it would be difficult for me to envision a situation where the two clubs would work together on a transfer next summer.
That leaves PSG are the front-runners to bring the young French international home. If Paris can also land Varane’s international teammate Paul Pogba next summer, PSG would have the two best French talents in the world under contract, setting themselves up as Champions League contenders for the next 5-10 years.