Since Virgil van Dijk sustained his long-term injury against Everton at Goodison Park, Liverpool have been linked with a raft of centre-backs.
The Reds managed to bring in both Schalke 04’s Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies of Preston North End in the January transfer window but those arrivals have not stemmed the tide of the rumour mill and one of the latest names to be linked is Raphael Varane of Real Madrid.
As per Mundo Deportivo, the Reds are reportedly the ‘main club’ thought to be interested in acquiring his services.
However, reports in the Manchester Evening News suggest that Manchester United are eyeing the Frenchman as a signing – something that the Reds cannot afford to let happen.
The 27-year-old, whoever he signs for, would instantly improve a defence’s quality. In his time in Madrid, he has played a key role in four UEFA Champions League successes, as well as three La Liga title wins. He’s also been capped 70 times by France and is a World Cup winner to boot.
It’s not his personal trophy haul that would improve the Reds’ however, his sheer statistics also speak for themselves.
When compared to Joe Gomez, who he would likely displace in the Reds’ starting lineup, the Frenchman contributes more tackles, interceptions and blocks, as well as fewer fouls per 90 minutes, according to WhoScored.
His presence at the back would hugely help a defence that has been extremely leaky this season having conceded 34 goals all season.
It is not just imperative that the Reds bring in Varane though; it is crucial that they stop Manchester United from recruiting him.
For a long-time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils have also struggled defensively, with a new centre-back to partner Harry Maguire thought to be high on their priorities.
Currently the top scorers in the Premier League this season and boasting the talents of Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes, it appears that Varane could be the missing piece in the Red Devils assembling a title challenge.
Liverpool would, obviously, rather get back to competing for a title first though and that could start with the arrival of Varane.
AND in other news, take a look at Michael Edwards’ summer transfer masterclass.