Man Utd ‘have an eye’ on £26m Raphael Varane transfer alternative who Tottenham want

Real Madrid: Varane coy when quizzed on future

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Former Fulham centre-back Joachim Andersen, also linked to Tottenham, is as a surprise target for Manchester United. The Red Devils consider the Dane as a cheaper alternative to Raphael Varane who they have been pursuing for a number of weeks, with a deal yet to materialise.

Andersen had a relatively solid season for Fulham last term as one of their only consistent defensive performers on their way to a disappointing relegation back to the Championship.

More recently, the Dane went all the way to the Euro 2020 semi-final before an extra-time loss to England ended his country’s incredible journey.

Back in 2019, Andersen became Lyon’s record signing at a cost of £26million, although he failed to truly establish himself in the first team.

It has been reported by Foot Mercato that a similar fee would be enough to prise him away from Ligue 1, considerably cheaper than would be required to sign Varane.

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With Real Madrid holding out for more than £40m for the Frenchman, opting for Andersen would at least make sense in business terms as Varane approaches his thirties.

At 25 years old, the Lyon defender still has time to improve before he enters the prime years of his career as a centre-back.

At 6ft 4in, he would also be an imposing presence in the United back line, although he would not be the nailed on superstar that many fans are calling for to partner Harry Maguire.

They have tried relatively unknown centre-backs at Old Trafford in recent seasons with the likes of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, although neither have concretely managed to win the fans over.

United are being forced to consider their options regarding their defender hunt as Varane continues to take his time over his future after a chaotic season.

The Frenchman suffered Euro 2020 disappointment with France after they were dumped out in the round of 16 by Switzerland, and it is thought that he wants to sit down with Carlo Ancelotti before committing to either Madrid or Manchester.

Some reports, however, claim that Varane is more likely to join the Red Devils than re-sign at the Bernabeu.

But if they look to sign Andersen, they may face competition from Tottenham, who are equally as keen to sign a new centre-half.

They have tracked the former Fulham loanee and see him as a feasible option if Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, another linked to United, is unattainable for them.

A first-team quality centre-back seems to be high on the priority list for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Jadon Sancho’s transfer already agreed in principle.

The Borussia Dortmund winger is poised to make the switch after a reported £72.6m fee, plus add-ons, was accepted.

Such a frivolous splurge could indeed force United’s hand when it comes to considering cheaper options in the heart of their defence.

More spending is set to follow, too, with Eduardo Camavinga seemingly the main target to bolster their midfield ranks.

With so much business planned, Andersen could become a genuine contender to appear in United red at the start of next season. 

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