Raphael Varane is all but set to become a Manchester United player pending a medical and contract finalization.
Terms have been agreed with Real Madrid and Manchester United. The former World Cup winner and French international will now join United, according to the club.
It has been widely speculated that terms with United and Varane have been agreed with already, and the transfer hinged on Real Madrid.
According to ESPN, the deal is set to cost United €41 million, plus €8.2 million in add-ons. Not a bad fee for a proven commodity and a top defender in the world.
Manchester United have already signed Jadon Sancho this summer, the English international will wear number 25 for United this season.
Solskjaer Gets His World Class Defender in Varane
Harry Maguire had a terrific Euros and a very solid second half of the season. The injury was bad timing for United and the defense were exposed at the end of the season a few times, especially against Liverpool.
Maguire being out forced Ole to rely on Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly for some important games down the stretch, including the Europa League Final defeat to Villarreal.
Ole has already quelled two reasons United lost that final, defensive and attacking squad depth. Even if Maguire does go down for important games, Varane is there and vice-versa. Sancho adds to the attacking depth and is a top talent, not a young unproven player.
Defensively in the second half of the season United stifled the likes of Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and AC Milan. They kept some good clean sheets against clubs with class attacking options.
For that to happen Ole had to sacrifice creativity at times and because of injury reasons, United featured Fred and McTominay in the midfield, two defensive and safer options.
If Paul Pogba got the start with McFred, an attacker was sacrificed, most of the time it was Mason Greenwood. If Pogba was not available nor Cavani, Dan James was utilized out wide to help provide cover.
The defensive greatly benefited from that and helped shield Maguire and Lindelof. But with Varane, United can now play more balanced at every line.
Varane opens up the ability for United to play the 4-3-3 instead of a 4-2-3-1. The 4-2-3-1 utilizes an extra defensive minded midfielder and forces the outside play makers deeper defensively.
In the 4-3-3 the outside players are higher up the pitch and the 8’s tend to be more creative like Donny van de Beek at Ajax. If you want to be more exciting than the 4-3-3 is the better option.
Fred had a decent Copa America, McTominay did well at times with Scotland, but the next move could be for a top defensive midfielder.
United could be without Marcus Rashford until October, so selling James or Martial might not be wise. Van de Beek could possibly go soon. There is also the goalie situation that could yield more funs.
Eric Bailly might be unsure of his place according to ESPN, even though the defender signed an extension towards the end of the season. Axel Tuanzebe could also be moved, Newcastle and other clubs are interested.
United should have the ability to pay another €20-40 mil for a defensive midfielder, but there is plenty of possibilities to finance it by moving some pieces.
I would break the bank for Declan Rice or spend a little less for Kalvin Phillips, we shall see.