Rio Ferdinand feels Manchester United will regret their decision if they don’t move to try and sign both Raphael Varane and John Stones.
Both players are widely considered to be two of the best young centre-backs in world football and Man United have been heavily linked to them.
Speaking about the pair, Ferdinand insisted he didn’t care how much Stones costs because of the returns you’d get from him as a player.
“I don’t care how much it is,” Ferdinand said of Stones.
“You are getting a player for ten years. Him and Raphael Varane are the best in the world.
“The team starts at the back. Your platform for winning titles starts in defence. If Stones goes to another English club they will regret it.”
I think Ferdinand’s point about longevity is key when it comes to looking at the transfer fees associated with Stones. It’s the same logic that was applied to Luke Shaw when he became the world’s most expensive teenager but prior to his injury, he was immediately showing the sort of level he’s capable of playing at.
Stones falls into that category too but United would face serious competition from Chelsea who had multiple big bids for the defender rejected by Everton during the summer. For a player of his potential, you’re always going to face stiff competition for his signature.
As for Varane, we were close to signing him before Zinedine Zidane and had a word in his ear. Now his fellow Frenchman is in charge, I really can’t see Madrid letting go of one of their best talents. Can you?
Something I wholeheartedly agree with is Rio’s point of how important a defence is. We took it for granted but our defences under Sir Alex were incredible – from Bruce and Irwin back towards the start to Ferdinand, Neville and Vidic as the years went on. They were always our foundation and rock and although defensive solidarity has returned this year, it’s come at the expense of genuine attacking football
We’re certainly in need of another top drawer centre-back in the team but Everton will not sell Stones cheap and Varane is unlikely to leave Madrid, so United would have to put in some very big bids if Ferdinand is to have his wish with both joining the club.