Man Utd: The first six fixtures of the new Premier League season
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Manchester United are keen to recruit Raphael Varane this summer. For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Real Madrid star is the perfect player to partner Harry Maguire at the back amid doubts over the likes of Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe. However, his row with Paul Pogba now means there’s a fresh obstacle to overcome.
Manchester United first tried to sign Varane a decade ago.
Sir Alex Ferguson was keen on landing the France international as a replacement for Rio Ferdinand, who was entering the twilight years of his career at the time.
But United ended up missing out, with Varane spending the last decade strutting his stuff for Real Madrid in Spain.
Now, however, they’re confident a deal will happen.
Though Jadon Sancho is currently their priority, talks over a deal for the 2018 World Cup winner have been ongoing for some time.
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But, now, United may have a new issue to overcome.
Varane may need some convincing to move to Old Trafford in the wake of his reported row with Pogba, which took place after France’s Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland.
Reports in France claim that, after their defeat, Pogba was confronted by Adrien Rabiot.
That was when defenders Varane and Benjamin Pavard got involved.
Varane is said to have agreed with Pavard’s criticism of Pogba, where he slammed the United star for failing to do his defensive duties well enough.
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While the midfielder scored a stunning goal, he was still guilty of lapses of concentration that ultimately cost his side dear, with Switzerland claiming a surprise victory.
And the bust-up means the Real Madrid star may need some convincing into joining, even if United appear to be frontrunners in the race to secure his signature.
Should Varane move, he’d likely be deployed behind Pogba in defence.
Yet he may not feel confident doing that at club level given how it worked on the international stage at this tournament.
Pogba said on social media after the defeat that football could be ‘beautiful but cruel’ after France’s exit, saying: “Sometimes football can be cruel… cruel and also beautiful.
“Yesterday, the game brought us sadness but happiness to our opponents. That’s the beauty of football.
“Of course, we all wished that we could have had a positive result. Thank you so much to all of our fans across the globe.
“It was beautiful to see you, to hear you, and to celebrate with you. You gave us hope and joy throughout all of our games. We will keep our heads up and we will come back stronger.
“Finally, I want to wish congratulations to Switzerland.”
Former United star Luke Chadwick, meanwhile, thinks Varane is a defender with the potential to drastically improve Solskjaer’s side.
“If you could pick any centre half in the world to go and partner Harry Maguire it would be Varane,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“He’s an absolute Rolls Royce of a player, you don’t win the amount of trophies he’s had without an incredible mentality.
“With Ramos leaving as well, Paris Saint-Germain seem to be showing an interest in both of those players, but in terms of what United need at this time, Varane would be a dream signing if they could get that over the line.
“PSG can offer more in terms of wages, but Varane’s another player who’s never played in the Premier League, so it depends if it’s the financial incentive or that playing opportunity that means more to him.”
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