Manchester United ‘are set to make £40m bid for Raphael Varane this summer’, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intent on partnering the Real Madrid defender with captain Harry Maguire
- World Cup-winning defender Varane, 28, is understood to want a new challenge
- United have struggled defensively in Maguire’s absence due to an ankle injury
- The Red Devils were defensively shoddy in a 4-2 home defeat against Liverpool
Manchester United are reportedly lining up a £40million bid for Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane this summer.
United are on track to finish second in the Premier League but their defence has been shaky, with more goals conceded than 17th-placed Brighton.
According to the Mirror, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen on signing the Frenchman to play alongside captain Harry Maguire at the heart of the defence.
Manchester United are reportedly lining up a £40million bid for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane
Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to want him to partner Harry Maguire (left)
Varane, 28, only has a year left on his contract and United believe they can secure his signature for around £40m.
The 73-cap international has spent a decade with the Spanish giants, making 359 appearances in all competitions, winning 18 trophies in that time.
He has won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the 2018 World Cup, and would bring pace, poise and winning experience to the side.
Victor Lindelof (left) and Eric Bailly (right) failed to impress in a 4-2 home loss against Liverpool
The Red Devils have tried to sign him before in previous transfer windows, but could get a deal over the line this summer, with Varane understood to want a new challenge.
United have struggled in the absence of the previously ever-present Maguire, who has missed the last two matches with an ankle injury, and the side conceding six goals in that time, including a 4-2 loss against Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Eric Bailly, who signed a new contract until 2024 last month, and Victor Lindelof have failed to consistently impress and Varane could be the answer.
Up next United host Fulham on Tuesday before travelling to Wolves in the last Premier League game of the season on Sunday, and Solskjaer urged his defenders to step up with Maguire touch-and-go for the Europa League final on May 26.
He said: ‘Harry has been amazing since he came to the club. He’s been more or less ever-present, so of course, when a player is a leader, a captain, the status of him, his presence is missed.
‘But then we have players who can come in and it’s a chance for everyone to take on that little bit of leadership. We need to do that when he’s gone. You can hear him in the stands when he’s not playing. Someone else has to take that responsibility now.’