Real Madrid centre back Raphaël Varane has been seen checking in for his first day of training amid strong Manchester United links.
Over recent months, it has not gone unnoticed that Man United would like to strengthen their centre back options before the new season starts and the Frenchman is believed to be top of the wishlist.
Varane has been heavily linked to the Old Trafford club, with contract negotiations between player and club believed to be going smoothly.
It’s also been consistently reported that the defender would prefer Premier League experience or even just a new challenge, especially after his countryman Zinedine Zidane is no longer head coach at the Bernabeu.
It was believed that the 28-year-old wanted the transfer resolved before he had to return to training in Madrid but today, according to Fabrizio Romano, the player has arrived at Valdebebas, Real’s training ground.
Raphaël Varane has just arrived at Valdebebas as he’s not breaking his relationship with Real Madrid – respecting the club and Perez. ???? #MUFC
He knows Manchester United are in talks with Real Madrid – he wants a Premier League experience. Contract almost ready, up to the clubs.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 23, 2021
Varane doesn’t want to break his relationship with the team at the Spanish club and will therefore be respecting the dates he needs to go in for training or medical checks.
Romano states that the player knows that the two clubs are in advanced negotiations and that the contract is nearly ready.
According to sports journalist Sergio Quirante, today’s visit was just for medical checks and he didn’t train with the rest of the squad, which raises hopes among United fans that perhaps there is a reason he has been withheld.
???? No se ha quedado a entrenar junto al resto
???? Reconocimiento médico y para casa
— Sergio Quirante (@SQuirante) July 23, 2021
There still remains the issue of United and Real agreeing a price, with hugely different figures being bandied about in the media.
Reports yesterday, refuted by Romano, said that United had offered €40 million (£34m) plus €5 million in bonuses, which had been rejected. Other reports have said United are prepared to offer €50 million (£43m). At the Madrid end, different reports have said their asking price is €50m, €60m (£51m), €70m (£60m) and €80m (£68m).
There is also still disagreement among reports as to whether Madrid are prepared to keep Varane if a certain figure is not met or whether they will be forced to drop their asking price as the window starts to close, rather than lose the player for free.