Premier League giants Manchester United appear destined to sign Real Madrid star Raphael Varane this summer, but a deal isn’t as imminent as many recent reports have suggested.
That’s according to the Daily Express, which reported there are still numerous hurdles for the Red Devils to clear before they can say the France international is theirs.
It was reported in mid-July that Jadon Sancho was undergoing a medical with United prior to completing a £73million move from Borussia Dortmund (plus add-ons).
The feeling was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would move onto Varane as their next top priority, with several centre-back signings at Old Trafford falling short in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
United captain Harry Maguire has cemented his place as an elite performer at the heart of Solskjaer’s back line, but his partners have struggled to attain the same consistency.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly juggled responsibilities in the role but each showed holes too frequently, while Axel Tuanzebe was rarely used and Phil Jones’ days at United look numbered.
Despite recent claims that a transfer could even be announced this week, the Express said United must still agree a transfer fee with Los Blancos, while Varane has yet to come to personal terms.
That’s not to say the 28-year-old wouldn’t be prepared to resolve his side of the deal, however, after transfer insider Fabrizio Romano said Varane has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.
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The Italian journalist tweeted on Monday: “Raphael Varane and his agents confirmed to Real Madrid his desire to try a new experience in the Premier League. He’ll be respectful waiting for the club agreement – but he wants Man United. #MUFC
“Varane also confirmed to Man Utd he’d be ‘ready’ to accept their contract bid.”
The player has entered the final 12 months of his current contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, meaning Real are at risk of losing him for nothing next summer.
Solskjaer, 48, refused to give anything away regarding a potential deal for the World Cup-winner when he was quizzed on the matter following a recent pre-season win over Derby.
The United boss spoke to reporters after beating Wayne Rooney’s side 2-1 on Sunday and said: "Varane? I only speak about players when we sign them.”
Supporters may take heart in the fact their manager at least didn’t rule out a move for Varane, who has been linked with United since he moved to Madrid from Lens in 2011.
Carlo Ancelotti has returned to Real after cutting short his time at Everton in June, and the Italian may well be eager to keep Varane after winning 'La Decima' together in 2014.
Partnering Maguire with the four-time Champions League-winner would give United arguably the best centre-back partnership in the Premier League, one which many would agree is worth waiting for.
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