Manchester United ‘are set to make £40m bid for Raphael Varane this summer’ 

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)

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

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.’

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Real Madrid: Raphael Varane insists he is ‘100% committed’ to despite links to Chelsea

Raphael Varane insists he is ‘100% committed’ to Real Madrid despite links to Champions League semi-final opponents Chelsea… as he admits Thomas Tuchel’s side are a ‘very complete team’ ahead of huge first leg

Raphael Varane has played down speculation he could join Champions League semi-final opponents Chelsea this summer, insisting his focus is solely on Real Madrid.

Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo claimed on Sunday that the Blues have jumped ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Varane for £61million.

But the Frenchman says he is ‘100 per cent committed’ to the club, despite reports that he will push for a move away at the end of the season.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane says he remains ‘100 per cent committed’ to the club

Speaking in a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s first leg clash against Thomas Tuchel’s side, Varane said: ‘My future is clear: my focus is on the end of the season. 

‘We are in a very intense minute, we have to be focused on the games that lie ahead.’

Pressed on whether he would extend his contract beyond the end of next season, the defender added: ‘It is normal that my focus is on the end of the season. 

‘The message to the fans is that I am 100 per cent committed to the team. We have challenges that encourage us a lot. I am focused on giving everything on the field.’

Varane is set to play a key role in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg, with captain Sergio Ramos ruled out as he recovers from injury.

The Frenchman expects a tough game against Chelsea, who have turned their season around since Tuchel’s arrival as manager in late January. 

‘Chelsea is a very complete team,’ Varane said. 

‘They have players of different qualities. The important thing is that we adapt well to what we are going to face. 

‘They have the ability to play with the block higher or further back. And they can create danger at any moment. The best thing is to defend together.’

More to follow. 

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