Man Utd handed Varane boost, join race for Villarreal foe and face Kounde battle

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to bolster his squad as he continues to chase a first managerial title at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils fell short for a third season with the Norwegian, finishing 12 points behind rivals Manchester City and losing the Europa League final to Villarreal.

It has seen them conduct some early business to keep key players such as Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani happy with new contracts

But Solskjaer also wants to strengthen the squad, drawing up a four-man shortlist which includes Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Tottenham captain Harry Kane.

United are looking for upgrades in other areas, though – and Daily Star Sport has summarised the headlines you need to know…

Real Madrid provide Varane boost

United have been long-term admirers of the Bernabeu side’s French defender, with Raphael Varane’s deal at the Bernabeu only having one year left.

With Paul Pogba also doing his bit to help while on international duty for Euro 2020, the pieces appear to be falling into place as the 28-year-old hinted at talks following the tournament.

But Spanish outlet COPE have reported that Madrid are ‘accepting’ that the centre-back will leave this summer.

This would provide a double boost for United as the imminent arrival of Carlo Ancelotti would be unlikely to stop them agreeing a €35m [£30.1m] deal.

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United join race for Villarreal’s Moreno

Solskjaer’s hunt for a first United trophy since 2017 continues after losing out to the Spanish side on penalties in the Europa League final.

The opening goal was scored by Gerard Moreno, his 30th of the season to go alongside 11 assists as well as a penalty in the shootout.

And Fichajes reports that it has seen the 29-year-old become a target for the very side he beat, seeing them go up against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for his signature.

Kounde battle heats up

Solskjaer has been monitoring the Sevilla defender for a long time, with the Frenchman hinting he would leave the La Liga side in an interview last month.

Watching the 22-year-old centre-back make 88 appearances over the last two years and even add six goals, he was part of the team that saw off United in last season’s Europa League semi-final.

They may be willing to pay €70m but Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have reported that they are now facing competition from Madrid and Barcelona.

This is due to the Bernabeu side being willing to lose Varane while Ronald Koeman – despite signing Eric Garcia from rivals Manchester City – wants more depth in his backline.

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