The story surrounding Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane’s potential move to Manchester United has ‘exploded’ in the last 24 hours, according to a sensational report from Spain.
Having secured a deal in principle for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils have turned their attention to strengthening the defence, with the World Cup winner top of their list of priorities.
With his contract set to expire in a year’s time and an impasse seemingly reached over his Real Madrid future, the 28-year-old could be sold even though los Blancos have already lost fellow centre-back and captain, Sergio Ramos.
But according to a report this morning from AS, United have been making significant approaches to both Real and to the player in an attempt to get the deal done.
‘The Varane case has just exploded,’ AS claims.
‘Due to the large sum of money that [United] have had to pay for Sancho, they cannot make an outlay greater than €45 million [£38m] for the French centre-back, a figure very far from the €70m [£60m] that Real Madrid intend to collect.
‘United already made first contact with the defender a few months ago to find out his predisposition to a transfer. And this existed.
‘Now is the time they will begin the negotiation with Madrid in which, as AS has learned, they will put the name of Pogba, who also ends his contract in 2022, on the table.’
This report certainly is an explosion. First, it gives us United’s alleged maximum offer for Varane – £38 million, which given the financial climate and the fact he only has a year left on his contract, whilst low does not seem that unreasonable.
Second, it speaks to Varane’s desire to join United, which will come as excellent news to United fans, who have heard conflicting reports on that issue. This same source, AS, have previously reported that the player wants to stay at the Bernabeu.
And third, and perhaps the biggest explosion of all, is that United are putting Paul Pogba on the table as a potential player exchange, as reported as possible by The Peoples Person recently. This could indicate the Red Devils’ own resignation to their own French star leaving the club.
However, United’s reported £68 million valuation of Pogba would mean that they would want a chunk of cash to go along with Varane if an exchange were to take place.
‘The negotiation between United and Real Madrid promises to be long and there may be surprises,’ AS continues.
‘The world champion still does not rule out staying with los Blancos.
‘A call from Ancelotti in which he tells him to stay because of the importance he has in the team could be enough for the central defender to rethink the situation, as long as Madrid could also make a small effort.’
But the report’s revelations do not end there.
They also claim that ‘United have a transfer spending budget this summer of 150 million euros [£129m]’ – a figure that will please many United fans as rumours had been circulating that the budget was just £100 million.
The report concludes that los Merengues are willing to sell the Frenchman but the gap in valuations would have to be closed significantly. Whether that will happen, and whether an exchange deal with Pogba does grow wings, remains to be seen.