Manchester United have an opportunity to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane at the end of this season.
According to Manchester Evening News, the Frenchman could be attainable because of his dip in form and his contract situation.
Raphael Varane is approaching the final 18 months of his contract at Santiago Bernabeu and he has been a shadow of his former self since the turn of the year. That said, the 27-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best defenders in world football and it would be silly to write him off just yet.
United tried to sign the player from Lens back in 2011 when Sir Alex Ferguson was the manager of the club. Instead, the Red Devils ended up another promising defender in Phil Jones.
Jones never really achieved his potential because of injury problems but Varane, after moving to Real Madrid that summer, went on to establish himself as a mercurial talent.
“I hurtled down on the train from Euston to Lille to sign the young French defender Raphael Varane,” Ferguson wrote in his book, “Leading”, back in 2015. “David Gill was getting into the finer points of the contract with Lens when Zinedine Zidane got wind of this and somehow scooped him up for Real Madrid from under our noses.”
United have spent hundreds of millions over the last decade on their defence but they have struggled to replace the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The £80million spent on Harry Maguire in 2018 has proven to be a poor investment as well.
The former Leicester City defender has been disappointing over the last few months and he is nowhere close to justifying his price tag.
The likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have been inconsistent as well and United could do with an upgrade, although they will need to ship out players too.
Raphael Varane is at the peak of his career right now and he could be that upgrade United have been craving for years.
The 27-year-old is an excellent passer from the back and he is very good at reading the game. Furthermore, he is a lot quicker than the likes of Maguire and his signing would allow United to play with a high pressing line, a crucial tactical adjustment if you want to play fast attacking football.
His impact at Old Trafford could be similar to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool. The Dutchman allowed the Reds to play on the front foot while remaining organized at the back.
The Real Madrid defender has won every trophy at club level and he has won the World Cup with France. His winning experience could prove to be invaluable to the United dressing room.
If Los Blancos fail to agree on an extension with the Frenchman by the end of this season, United should look to test their resolve with a tempting offer.