Raphael Varane continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United this summer.
Having been a long-term target for the Old Trafford club, Varane could be a viable option ahead of this summer with his contract set to expire at Real Madrid in 2022.
But what do we know about a potential deal so far? We have rounded up all the latest including what the Frenchman has said and how Real Madrid view the situation with a transfer potentially in the offing.
Varane may be coming towards the end of his contract in the Spanish capital, but still only 27 and clearly one of the best defenders in world football, his value is still rather high.
According to Transfermarkt, Varane is worth just over £63million, but while that is a high figure, it might just be a bargain given the experience the centre-back would bring with him.
Varane still has plenty of mileage left on his tyres and he has already won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and a World Cup among other honours.
He is undoubtedly one of the best defenders money can buy, and if he is indeed available for £63million, that might be a fee worth paying.
The secret weapon
Manchester United have their work cut out to get Varane to Old Trafford this summer.
Convincing Varane to become part of the project being built by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be the job of the board, but the club have the added boost of Paul Pogba’s existing relationship with the player.
The pair have represented Les Blues together since 2013 and were part of the French side to reach the Euro 2016 final and respond by winning the World Cup two years later in Russia.
Pogba’s own future remains unclear but, should he remain at Old Trafford, he could prove to be a valuable asset in accelerating talks between both parties.
In 2019 it was Pogba who was linked with a move to the Spanish capital to link up with his international team-mate at the Bernabeu Stadium.
At the time of these links, Varane was asked about the possibility of playing alongside Pogba at club level and delivered a complimentary response.
“I think we have a team. Pogba is a good player, I know him very well. For any team he would be fantastic,” he said.
“I trust my team-mates. If new players come, we’ll see. I trust my team-mates.”
What Varane has said
When Varane was asked about his future during international duty in March, he refused to answer, saying: “I am two days away from an international match with the national team, I am concentrating on that. I don’t want to answer that question on my future.”
But last September, he spoke in a little more detail about what the future might hold amid speculation over his future.
“For the future, it’s difficult to plan. Real Madrid is a very, very big club with great players. What’s important is that everyone plays their part in the team,” he said.
“When we won our titles, our Champions League, it was as a team, with 11 leaders on the pitch each time.”
Real Madrid stance
As reported by the Manchester Evening News in March, Real Madrid are pessimistic about their chances of tying Varane down to a new deal ahead of his current contract expiring in 2022.
That could lead Los Blancos to sell the defender this summer to ensure they don’t lose him for free ahead of the following season.
Though, Real Madrid boss Zidane has been very clear that he wants Varane to stick around beyond this season with the French defender still a key part of the back-line and with Sergio Ramos out of contract this summer.
What Zidane has said
Despite Real Madrid’s apparent open stance on Varane, Zidane claim’s his and the club’s stance is very firm.
“It’s not just me [who wants to keep him],” Zidane said in November.
“He is part of this club, we were very lucky to be able to bring him to Madrid.
“He has a great career, he’s achieved a lot since he’s been here. Of course, he is untransferable for the club, for the coach that I am, for people in general.
“That’s clear and unambiguous. Now we can’t stop people from talking. They’re not just talking about Varane, but about all the players, Real Madrid ones and others.
“But for Varane, my position is clear, and it’s the same as the club’s position.”
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United in ‘very advanced talks’
According to El Chiringuito TV (via the Mirror), United are now said to be in very advanced talks to sign the defender this summer.
Real Madrid defenders Nacho and Eder Militao have stepped up to the plate for Zidane in the meantime.
The duo formed an impenetrable partnership in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash with Liverpool, as Real Madrid came out on top on Wednesday night.
Madrid are facing up to the reality of either selling Varane this summer and making some money for the defender or losing him on a free the following season.
Los Blancos boss Zidane has reportedly softened to the idea of selling Varane as a result.