Man Utd draw up fresh Raphael Varane transfer plan with Paul Pogba ‘on the table’

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Manchester United are prepared to include Paul Pogba in a player-plus-cash deal for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer, according to reports. The Red Devils are long-term admirers of the 28-year-old, who is said to be stalling over a new contract in the Spanish capital.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be in the market for a top-class central defender to partner Harry Maguire at the back next season.

A number of big names have recently been linked with the 20-time Premier League champions, including the likes of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Pau Torres of Villarreal.

Meanwhile, Varane has been on United’s radar for some time, but the Frenchman could finally be on his way to Old Trafford this summer.

He will be out of contract next year and there has been a lack of concrete movement with regards to extending his stay at Real.

Varane was reportedly offered a new deal last season but was unable to finalise an agreement with the La Liga giants, meaning they face the possibility of losing him on a free transfer next summer if he is not sold over the coming months.

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United are strongly interested in signing the defender this summer, with the club reportedly looking to strike a deal with Real ahead of the new season.

If the Red Devils decide to act on their desire to land the man from Lille, they will be open to including Paul Pogba as part of a swap deal to push the move over the line, according to Spanish outlet AS.

The report claims that United are not looking to pay more than around £34million for Varane, with his contract situation and the club’s ongoing pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho ruling out a big-money offer.

Their reluctance to splash out has led to Pogba, who will also be a free agent next summer, being put ‘on the table’ as a bargaining chip.

It is claimed that the United midfielder would be ‘delighted’ to join Real as he seeks what is likely to be the final major contract of his career, suggesting that a player-plus-cash deal could be a move to suit all parties.

Pogba was reportedly a major target during Zinedine Zidane’s recent tenure at the Bernabeu, with the Spanish heavyweights launching two separate enquiries over the possibility of a move.

However, it remains to be seen whether Carlo Ancelotti will be prepared to accept the playmaker in exchange for Varane, who played 41 matches for Real in all competitions last season.

The club have already been resigned to the impending departure of Sergio Ramos after failing to agree a new deal with the 35-year-old veteran.

Meanwhile, former United midfielder Luke Chadwick recently suggested that Varane’s arrival at Old Trafford could be the final piece of the jigsaw for Solskjaer, who has overseen a period of steady improvement since taking the manager’s job in 2019.

“If any centre half is available, I’d choose Varane,” Chadwick told Caught Offside back in April.

“He looks like the one who could turn United into a title-winning or even Champions League-winning team.

“If you added him and a top centre-forward, those are the two areas of the squad that look like they should be a priority at this moment in time.”

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