Manchester United have reportedly begun initial talks with the representatives of Raphael Varane over a potential massive summer transfer.
United’s loss to Liverpool on Thursday made clear their need for a top new centre-back. With injured captain Harry Maguire absent, Eric Bailly stepped in alongside Victor Lindelof. While Bailly had his shaky moments, though, the Red Devils’ whole back four looked somewhat lost without Maguire.
Earlier reports have linked United with a swoop for a top new star at the back, but the display against the Reds pushed such a signing up the agenda for many fans.
As for who the Old Trafford club could target, though, top centre-backs famously do not come cheap; Maguire cost £80million from Leicester, more than Virgil van Dijk cost Liverpool.
However, Real Madrid star Varane is one player who is available this summer. His contract runs out next summer, but there is a growing uncertainty over whether he will extend.
The Manchester Evening News claims that the France international feels there is a discrepancy between his salary offer and his colleagues’ wages.
Therefore, the newspaper adds that United and Liverpool are a number of clubs holding ‘exploratory’ talks with the 28-year-old’s entourage.
United supposedly first wanted to sign Varane in 2011, before he signed for Madrid from Lens.
Furthermore, departing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was allegedly ready to sanction a £100million swoop for his services in 2018, but his fee sat above that figure after France’s World Cup triumph.
Now, though, that fee has dropped and Madrid value him at £60million. Club president Florentino Perez also wants to get a fee for Varane this summer, if he cannot agree to an extension.
The Manchester Evening News adds that United will go ‘all-out’ for a new centre-back signing. The focus has indeed shifted to defence after the club tied striker Edinson Cavani to a new deal.
Man Utd urged to sign attacker
However, Gary Neville believes that United need to sort out their attacking options.
Mason Greenwood has emerged as a star talent, but the teenager has yet to cement his place either at striker or on the wing.
If he is to be a striker, Neville believes that winger Jadon Sancho would be an ideal signing from Borussia Dortmund.
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