According to Diario Gol, Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has his sights set on a swoop for Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window…
It is claimed that the Frenchman’s contract is up in less than 18 months’ time and Real Madrid are seriously considering cashing in on him to raise funds for their own spending.
Mourinho was the man to bring Varane to the Bernabeu back in 2011 and the pair have great respect for one another.
The ‘Special One’ tried to sign him at Manchester United, and while the 27-year-old was unwilling to leave the La Liga giants, he told Canal+ (via Fotmob) that “it is not easy to say no to Jose Mourinho.”
Varane has also previously dubbed the Portuguese boss his “second father” in an interview with TF1 (via ESPN). Whilst reports claim the Frenchman has already said no again, it cannot be ruled out as things quickly change in football, especially with Madrid keen to cash in.
Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United are also mooted with interest.
Spurs’ backline is certainly one major area of concern for Mourinho, so he will need to bolster it in the summer if he’s to get back on track in north London.
It appears he may well be doing exactly that as further reports have suggested that Davinson Sanchez is available for transfer. Just a few days ago, Football Insider claimed that the former club-record £42m signing was free to leave as he “cannot be trusted” in big matches.
As such, the Spurs boss is lining up ‘multiple’ central defensive signings and will need a replacement for the 24-year-old flop.
This is where signing Varane makes a ton of sense – if Mourinho can convince him. That may be a hard task following their exit from the Europa League this week.
Varane’s illustrious career is far beyond that of any Spurs player. It’s the sort of record that someone like Harry Kane richly deserves. The £34m-rated French international’s trophy cabinet has three Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles and a World Cup among other domestic crowns.
The Real Madrid beast has been Zinedine Zidane’s second-best centre-back in the league this term, averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.87. His strengths appear to be in the air, having won 2.3 aerial duels per match, a number only bettered by Casemiro at the Bernabeu.
This is backed up by praise from Los Blancos legend Fernando Hierro, who said he’s “strong in the air in both boxes”, also adding: “He’s magnificent and he’s got it all.”
Similarly, Varane tops the charts for clearances per game (3.6), which suggests he’s the sort of no-nonsense defender Mourinho needs after dealing with consistent errors and mistakes from Sanchez and Eric Dier alike.
“It’s probably one of the worst partnerships in the Premier League!” said Jamie O’Hara to talkSPORT only three weeks ago.
Mourinho knows what he’s getting with Varane too – back in 2014, the Spurs boss claimed his former signing was “the best” centre-back in the world.
This echoes thoughts from ex-Chelsea star Eden Hazard, who told franceinfo (via talkSPORT): “He’s already one of the best centre-backs of all time. His partnership with Sergio Ramos is wonderful.”
Daniel Levy must make a convincing swoop for him in the summer – at the very least, he has to try. As evident above, he’d be a perfect replacement if Spurs are to offload Sanchez.