Manchester United’s considerable improvements this season have crafted a solid platform for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to build upon next season.
With one foot in the Europa League semi-finals, following their 2-0 away win over Granada on Thursday, and a top-four finish in the league within sight, United look set for a positive end to a season that initially started poorly.
Transfer activity this summer is on the agenda for United, with the priorities being a new striker and a central-defensive partner for Harry Maguire.
For the latter, a number of names are under consideration but a leading candidate to be signed is Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, who the MEN understands would be open to a move to Old Trafford.
The World Cup winner sees his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu expire next year, which could lead Zinedine Zidane’s side to approve a sale this summer to avoid losing the Frenchman on a free transfer.
Varane was initially earmarked by United chief Ed Woodward as the ideal defensive signing in 2018, when his transfer value was significantly higher, but the contract situation and landscape of football finances two years on have reduced his standing.
According to Transfermarkt, Varane’s true value now stands at a figure of £63million – a price that is affordable for United heading into the summer transfer window.
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With Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland also a prime target, United could spend in excess of £150m in the market this summer if they land their preferred options.
Those fees could be balanced by outgoing deals from Old Trafford, with a potential sale of goalkeeper David de Gea likely to lead to a pretty sum.
If it goes ahead, a £63m deal for Varane would stand as United’s fifth most expensive signing in history, behind Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Romelu Lukaku and Angel Di Maria.