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Manchester United: Solskjaer’s side linked with Raphael Varane

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Raphael Varane, and the Real Madrid defender could prove to be Rio Ferdinand’s long-awaited heir if he joins the English giants this summer.

According to Tribal Football, the Red Devils are preparing an opening offer for the 28-year-old centre-back after reports revealed the France international is unlikely to put pen to paper on a new contract with Los Blancos.

Varane’s current deal is set to expire in 2022, meaning the £63m-rated ace could be available for a cut-price fee ahead of the upcoming transfer window, hence why he is attracting the attention of some of the continent’s top clubs.

Could Varane be United's new Ferdinand?

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The 6 ft 2 powerhouse has played a pivotal part in Madrid’s success both domestically and in European competition since arriving at the Bernabeu back in 2011.

During his 10-year stay in the Spanish capital, Varane has collected four Champions League crowns, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and four Club World Cup trophies, but it appears as though he’s ready to start a new chapter in his illustrious career.

Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side making clear progress this season, having reached the Europa League final and second place in the Premier League table, their defensive fragilities have often been exposed throughout the current campaign.

A pacey partner for Harry Maguire is often outlined as one of the Old Trafford outfit’s biggest priorities by pundits, and it’s an attribute that has been absent from several United centre-halves since Ferdinand’s exit.

The retired England defender was renowned for his ability with the ball at his feet and his incredible turn of pace, two key features that Varane has also built his game around.

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WhoScored list passing as a key strength in both Ferdinand and Varane’s game, and the physical similarities are also clear for all to see, with both men boasting tall, strong and lean frames.

Although Ferdinand left the 20-time English champions way back in 2014, the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have failed to adequately replace the United legend, but that poor record could be about to change with Varane’s potentially imminent arrival.

The 2018 World Cup winner earned praise from his current manager earlier in the campaign, as Zinedine Zidane hailed his compatriot’s leadership qualities, saying:

“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.”

It could be United who benefits from Varane’s extensive array of impressive attributes from next season, though, and if Ed Woodward and Solskjaer have an opportunity to acquire the experienced defender, it’s an opportunity they can’t afford to miss out on.

And, in other news…former Red Devils’ star slams current United midfielder.

Article title: Manchester United: Solskjaer’s side linked with Raphael Varane

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