Raphael Varane has his heart set on a move to Manchester United and turned down the chance to join Paris Saint Germain this summer, according to reports.
Varane is believed to be United’s top centre-back target this summer and has so far refused to sign a new contract at his current club, Real Madrid.
The Red Devils are believed to have made contact with los Blancos to open negotiations and have been given permission to talk to the player about a possible move to Old Trafford.
And whilst the Spanish side would like either to keep the player or force a bidding war to drive the price up, United appear to be the only option that the 28-year-old will consider.
‘PSG decided to sign Sergio Ramos instead of Raphaël Varane because the Frenchman preferred to join Manchester United,’ Spanish journalist Jorge Calabres has claimed on his ‘El Bunker’ channel (via MUFCMPB).
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) July 9, 2021
Calabres, it should be said, is not a Tier 1 reporter but he is considered in Spain to be reasonably reliable.
An English reporter with a similar reputation, Rob Blanchette, has also tweeted a positive update on the Varane situation.
‘#MUFC are currently £12m short of Varane’s price, but PSG’s confirmation of Ramos should help the negotiations between United & Madrid to move forward,’ Blanchette tweeted.
‘Real need the cash and don’t want to lose the player on a free. Varane wants to leave. Time to get this done.’
#MUFC are currently £12m short of Varane's price, but PSG's confirmation of Ramos should help the negotiations between United & Madrid to move forward. Real need the cash and don't want to lose the player on a free. Varane wants to leave. Time to get this done. pic.twitter.com/KBMSWRH5A9
— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) July 8, 2021
As reported here yesterday, the most Tier 1 of all reporters, Fabrizio Romano, has claimed that Madrid’s asking price has not yet been revealed to United, who submitted an enquiry a week ago and await a reply.
Los Merengues find themselves in a difficult position in this window and it is no wonder that they are stalling on negotiations regarding the Frenchman.
They have already lost Varane’s centre-back partner, Sergio Ramos, and will be loath to lose both. However, they do not want to be held over a barrel and believe their offer of around €9 million a year (around £150,000 per week) to the Frenchman is as much as they can afford. United have reportedly offered €12 million (around £200,000 per week).
The other factor complicating their decision is whether there is any chance of wresting Kylian Mbappe away from PSG this summer. They will need to raise funds to do so, and selling Varane would be a must. But if a deal for Mbappe is impossible, then they will want to keep Varane.
For their part, United will want a deal tying up quickly so that they have time to integrate the 28-year-old into their squad during pre-season. A tempting offer with a time limit might be the best strategy right now to avoid a summer of waiting and seeing, during which alternative targets might get snapped up by other clubs.