Manchester United are closing in on the signature of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane following a lengthy pursuit.
According to Madrid magazine MadridistaReal, the Red Devils are just hours away from completing the purchase of the 28-year-old, with an agreement between the two clubs expected to be reached imminently.
They tweeted: “It is a matter of hours before United and Madrid reach an agreement for the transfer of Varane. The Frenchman is leaving, but he wants to do it in a pleasant way and very grateful to the club and Real Madrid.”
United have been linked with the World Cup-winning centre-back since Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in the Old Trafford dugout, so supporters must be buzzing to hear that he’s finally set to arrive on English shores.
Over the last decade, Varane has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world, making 360 appearances for Real Madrid, winning four Champions League crowns, three La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey along the way. He also lifted the World Cup with France in 2018.
He established a formidable partnership with Sergio Ramos during his time at the Bernabeu, but both halves of the dependable duo appear to be set for pastures new after the ageing Spaniard joined Paris Saint-Germain earlier this summer.
Varane’s arrival at United will be seen as a significant coup for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. The 20-time English champions conceded more goals than any of their top-four rivals last season, highlighting the need for reinforcements at the back.
With Varane’s pace, world-class ability and experience at the highest level, Red Devils captain Harry Maguire may have the perfect partner next season, and Solskjaer will surely be aiming to secure his first piece of silverware as manager.
If United get this deal over the line and announce the arrival of Jadon Sancho, then the expectation to compete for major honours will grow even further.
Finishing in a Champions League qualification spot will no longer be deemed a successful season by the club’s hierarchy or by the fanbase, so 2021/22 could be a crucial campaign in Solskjaer’s managerial career.