Juventus have emerged as the latest club to be linked with a move for Raphael Varane, who is also courted by Manchester United.
Manchester United could face fresh competition from Juventus in the pursuit of Raphael Varane, as reported by Sport. It is believed that the Bianconeri are keen to bulk up their defensive options as they look for long-term replacements for ageing defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.
Varane, to that end, has been identified as a top target, after it was reported that the Real Madrid defender has his ‘heart set’ on playing for a different club next season, despite the return of Zinedine Zidane as head coach.
Juventus’ fresh interest in the Frenchman could be a huge blow for Manchester United, however, as they, too, are equally keen on signing a world-class defender in the summer.
The Red Devils have struggled with Eric Bailly’s lack of form this season, which is coupled with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo’s injury problems. As a result, Victor Lindelof has emerged as the only reliable option at the heart of the Manchester United defence.
But even then, the Swede has failed to marshal the defence and the lack of a defensive leader at the back has been rather evident, at times. And Varane, in that regard, could have been an excellent solution for Manchester United as the 25-year-old is a strong defender, hardened by years of experience in top-flight football.
Indeed, the Frenchman has made over 250 competitive appearances for Real Madrid and is no stranger to silverware either, notably securing four Champions League titles as well as clinching the World Cup last year, making him a tailor-made fit for a club like Manchester United.
A move to Juventus, however, will provide Varane with the opportunity to reunite with his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and potentially Marcelo, who was previousy linked with a January move to Turin.
As iterated earlier, Juventus will be keen to sign a proper replacement for Chiellini, who will turn 35 this year. And Varane, at the age of 25, can be an excellent long-term investment for the Italian champions.
But, the Frenchman will surely cost a fortune as he reportedly has a staggering release clause of €500 million, meaning both clubs will first have to negotiate with Real Madrid and with Bayern Munich and PSG also interested, we could potentially witness a bidding war for Varane in the summer.
This could hand cash-rich Manchester United the upper hand as they look to replenish their squad in the summer in order to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur next season.