They were fully expected to happen this week so it doesn’t come as a surprise to any Man United fan but one thing has come out of the blue – United have inquired about Raphael Varane.
The 22-year-old still hasn’t been able to establish himself as a consistent first-team regular and that’s where United could come in and offer him a different option.
United were in for Varane before he joined Madrid and may well have signed him if not for an intervention from French legend Zinedine Zidane who convinced him to move to Spain.
There is no mention of Karim Benzema in Marca’s article, so it could well be that United’s focus is Varane instead.
It’s a move which ticks a lot of boxes for United because they are in desperate need of world class talent in defence and Varane has shown already that he is mature beyond his years and is likely to be one of the best centre-backs in the future.
United don’t want to sell De Gea, that much is obvious, so Ed Woodward definitely should be asking for players who Madrid don’t want to sell.
Too many times over the years United have not got the better end of a deal when a player has left. This time around it should change and Varane would certainly be one way to soften the blow of De Gea leaving.
One of United’s best ever signings was Eric Cantona and it only came around because Sir Alex Ferguson asked Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby about signing him, on the off chance they would say yes, after Leeds inquired about Denis Irwin.
If you don’t ask then you don’t get and although Madrid are unlikely to sell Varane, they will more than likely follow the pattern of the last two summer transfer windows by selling a big name player in order to balance the books, like they did with Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria.
Could that player be Varane this summer?