Raphael Varane ‘to reject Real Madrid stay for mammoth Manchester United contract’

Real Madrid: Varane coy when quizzed on future

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Real Madrid star Raphael Varane intends to reject the offer of a new contract to join Manchester United in this summer’s transfer window, according to reports in Spain. The France international was wanted by Sir Alex Ferguson a decade ago. And, now, it seems a move to Old Trafford is finally on the cards.

Real Madrid beat United to Varane 10 years ago, with Zinedine Zidane enticing his compatriot to Spain.

This angered Ferguson, who was convinced the France international would be the perfect long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand.

And, in the years since, United have come to regret their failure to bring Varane to the club.

The 28-year-old has won four Champions League crowns throughout his time at the Bernabeu, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in world football in the process.

Real have been keen to tie Varane down to a new deal, with his current contract in the Spanish capital due to expire next summer.

But, now, ABC say the 2018 World Cup winner is heading for the exit door – because he intends to reject their offer of an extension.

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It’s claimed he has a better proposal from United, who are willing to pay him ‘much more money’ over the next five years.

Real want a fee in the region of £60million to let their prized asset go – but United may try and haggle that down given he’ll be available for nothing in a year’s time.

The La Liga titans have named Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager, with the Italian replacing Zidane for a second stint in charge of Los Blancos.

But, speaking in 2017, Varane appeared to aim a dig at the former Everton boss for the way he handled him during their time working together.

“Since he left, I’ve improved. I could have perhaps played more under him if I could have shown him he could count on me in difficult times,” he said.

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“There was less turnover and you really needed to bring the house down to have any chance of playing again. I wasn’t able to do that.”

Should United meet Real’s asking price, Varane will become their fourth most expensive signing of all time.

Paul Pogba currently leads the way, with the club paying £89m to land the France international back in the summer transfer window of 2016.

Next on the list is Harry Maguire, who cost the Red Devils a massive £80m upon joining from fellow Premier League side Leicester City two years ago.

And sitting third is Romelu Lukaku, with United forking out £75m to lure him away from Everton during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge.

Speaking before United lost to the Europa League final to Villarreal, Gary Neville called on his side to pursue players of Varane’s calibre.

“If Man Utd can win on Wednesday, this has been a really good season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it would demonstrate great progress,” he said.

“Then you are talking about recruitment – you are talking about Varane, Kane, Haaland, Sancho.

“Those players that you know can take them to that next level. There would be numbers in those attacking areas which means they would become more exceptional in front of goal.

“Then a player at the back that would give that partnership alongside [Harry] Maguire that you could see being there for three or four years and would really challenge and put United at the forefront of challenging City and Liverpool.

“But Solskjaer is going to have to do something exceptional because [Thomas] Tuchel, [Pep] Guardiola and [Jurgen] Klopp are exceptional winning managers and they are hungry and ruthless.

“They want to win relentlessly so Man Utd cannot think that, if they win the Europa League on Wednesday and finish in second, that they still do not need that jump up a level.

“They are still 12 points behind City, you have got to swing that four games and it does not happen easily.

“So United have got to do big things this summer and Wednesday is such an important moment in the club’s history for Solskjaer and these players to get a medal around their necks.”

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