Journalist provides update on Man United's interest in Real Madrid star Raphael Varane

Duncan Castles delivers a detailed update on Man United's reported interest in signing Real Madrid's Raphael Varane this summer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screengrab)

Manchester United remain hopeful of a deal to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer, according to journalist Duncan Castles.

The Red Devils have been credited with an interest in landing the 28-year-old France international this summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to find a long-term partner for Harry Maguire at the back.

Varane’s situation at Real Madrid has become a source of speculation lately due to the fact that his current contract with the Spanish side is set to expire next summer.

As things stand, the centre-half would be free to open talks with foreign clubs in January and he could potentially leave the Bernabeu on a free transfer next summer.

It remains to be seen whether Manchester United will step up their interest in signing Varane this summer after they announced a deal to land Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund as their first recruit of the transfer window last week.

Now, reporter Castles has delivered an update on Varane’s situation at Real Madrid as the clock begins to tick down on his contract with the Spanish side.

Speaking on the Transfer Window Podcast on 3 July, Castles said of Varane: “He is definitely a very attractive football commodity at the age of 28 with one year left on his contract.

“Real Madrid have tried to retain him and they made him an offer of a new contract at €7m net per season. Varane wanted to wait until the end of the season and the Euros before he made a decision.

“Varane has been asking for €10m net as a salary, which isn’t surprising given Real Madrid have brought in David Alaba at a high salary level and allowed Sergio Ramos to leave. Varane feels he should be the leader of the defence and rewarded appropriately for his years of service.

“[Real Madrid president] Florentino Perez doesn’t want to allow Varane to leave for nothing next year given Real Madrid and Spanish football’s situation. The asking price over the course of the season has been around €65m if they had to sell.

“As part of the obsession Perez has with signing Mbappe and the focus they put on the transfer activity to try to get Mbappe to Real Madrid this summer, Perez had tried to roll Varane into a deal to try to get Mbappe from PSG and move Varane to France.

“My understanding is Varane has resisted that and has said he doesn’t want to join PSG. If he’s going to leave the club, his preference is to move to the Premier League.

“He has strong interest from Manchester United. We know Manchester United want to improve at centre-half. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made that one of his priority positions.

“Varane has been one of the targets alongside Pau Torres and Jules Kounde. There is a range of targets that they’re looking at. The feeling and the guidance I have from Real Madrid is that Perez might come down to €50m [for Varane] in the transfer climate.

“They’re still not sure of Varane’s direction. He has played it cannily and made Real Madrid wait.

“There is a feeling with his refusal to move to PSG, he may take the option to go to England and get the higher salary he wants there.”

Varane scored two goals in 31 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid last season.

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