Raphael Varane does not want to join Manchester United and is set to join Paris St Germain, according to reports from Spain.
Varane was believed to be United’s first choice centre back target in this summer’s transfer window and the Red Devils were given encouragement over his availability after contract talks between the player and Real Madrid broke down.
Last minute talks between club captain and fellow centre-back Sergio Ramos and president Florentino Perez about a new contract yesterday made the Frenchman’s depature look even more likely, offering United further hope.
However, Spanish outlet El Confidencial reports that the Frenchman wants to return to his home country and intends to join Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
‘The player’s decision to leave los Blancos is firm and by not wanting to renew, he is forcing Real Madrid to put him on the market to get something for him,’ the outlet reports.
‘Varane wants to return to France, where Paris Saint-Germain have already taken an interest in him.
‘He has also been scouted by Manchester United, but the player is not contemplating any other option, for now, than returning to France after 10 seasons at Real Madrid.’
The news will come as a hammer blow for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and to add insult to injury, it would appear that Real are targetting the Red Devils’ reported second choice as his replacement.
‘In exchange for his departure, several names are being considered. The first on the list is Jules Koundé, a countryman of Varane who has already warned Seville that his idea is to leave Pizjuán to continue growing as a footballer.’
If El Confidencial’s report is true, it threatens to blow United’s defensive transfer plans apart like a torpedo.
Left at the top of the shortlist will be Villareal’s Pau Torres, who according to the same report is Real’s second choice to replace Varane and who is also being monitored by Chelsea.
United have also been linked with Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, who is reportedly now being chased by Juventus, and Brighton’s Ben White, who is being courted by Arsenal.