Manchester United have potentially suffered a blow in their pursuit of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.
What’s the story?
Monday’s edition of Spanish publication Sport (as reported by Sport Witness), states that new Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti’s “first request” was to retain the 28-year-old after he had reportedly agreed terms with United over a potential move.
AS also claim that Varane is expecting a gesture from the former Everton manager, opening the door for him to stay at the Bernabeu. However, that would only be possible if the Spanish giants offer an improved contract.
Solskjaer may be gutted
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be in the market for a new centre-back this summer after Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have failed to prove their long-term credentials in recent years.
It’s easy to understand why the Red Devils have targeted the World Cup-winner after his impressive performances have caught the eye for several seasons now.
Former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane lauded his fellow countryman back in February, praising his leadership qualities on the pitch.
“He’s won a lot and shown his ability to be a leader, help others and show what he’s capable of doing out on the pitch. He deserves the two goals in the last game and the character to give us the win,” said Zidane.
However, with just 12 months remaining on his current contract with the La Liga giants, it’s been heavily rumoured that a new chapter awaits Varane next season.
A £38.5 million fee has been muted for the France international, but Solksjaer may be left feeling gutted at the latest revelation regarding his key transfer target.
News that Ancelotti is keen to keep Varane at Madrid next season may concern the Norwegian tactician, and he’ll surely be hoping that the highly-rated centre-half doesn’t put pen to paper on a new deal and commit his future to the Spanish side.