The latest on Raphael Varane’s transfer to Man Utd amid ‘fee agreed’ rumours

Manchester United appear to be a step closer to the signing of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane following reports that a €58m (£49.7m) transfer fee has been agreed between the clubs.

Varane is known to be keen on a new challenge after spending 10 years at Real and his contract situation – he has entered the final 12 months of his current deal – has forced Los Blancos into selling him now at the risk of otherwise losing him as a free agent next summer.

United’s search for a centre-back partner for Harry Maguire has taken them to seriously consider Pau Torres and Jules Kounde, as well as a passing interest in others like Caglar Soyuncu and Ben White, but Varane’s relatively sudden availability has changed things.

This is a rare chance to sign a proven World Cup and multiple Champions League winner at his peak without breaking the bank. Even at 28, Varane could have five or more years left at the very top.

The proposed fee is significantly less than the £80m that United paid for Maguire in 2019, although still makes Varane the second most expensive centre-back in the club’s history. It will, however, be worth it if this is the centre-back partnership that finally underpins a Premier League title charge.

Spanish publication SPORT has noted that Varane was left disappointed with Real’s contract offer worth €7m per season given his loyalty and achievements with the club over the last decade, especially when the club has guaranteed new signing David Alaba €12m each year.

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