Carlo Ancelotti has made a surprise departure from Everton to Real Madrid. It brings to an end his quick stay on Merseyside after 18 months.
There could be some ramifications for Manchester United as a result of Ancelotti’s appointment.
This relates to United’s reported pursuit of French defender Raphael Varane.
So what does Ancelotti’s arrival mean for United’s alleged pursuit?
Varane’s current contract at Real runs until 2022, which could prompt the Spanish giants to cash in on him this summer.
Normally when a new high profile manager comes in, it gives players who were undecided over their future an extra incentive to stay put.
The Ancelotti situation is a little different, because Varane has played under him at Real before.
If Varane’s desire is to try a new experience away from Madrid, then retreading his Ancelotti stint may not appeal too much, compared to if they had gone for Antonio Conte.
Varane is on record expressing how he found it tough under Ancelotti between 2013 and 2015, having originally be signed by Jose Mourinho. His best years at Real came under Zinedine Zidane.
The centre-back told L’Equipe in 2017: “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.
“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.”
Varane puts his mixed experience under Ancelotti down to himself, rather than blaming the Italian, and his next move could go one of two ways.
He could decide to stay and try and show Ancelotti how he has got better, or he might consider that he did not enjoy his time under his former boss and does not wish to repeat it.
In 2013/14 under Ancelotti, Varane was selected to play in just 14 La Liga games. He has played over 30 in each of the last three seasons.
So what do United do?
Essentially this should not really change how Manchester United view Varane’s situation.
As long as his contract situation remains the same, he is a player within United’s grasp.
If United want him, then they should put an offer in without delay. The more time Ancelotti has to work with Varane, then the more time he has to try and convince him to extend his deal.
This is a move which could drag on until July when the Euros are finished, and United will have other defensive options like Pau Torres to explore.
In an ideal world, United would be pushing to get some of these deals advanced before the Euros.
United may be able to attract Varane with the prospect of a fresh challenge, but the longer the club leave it, the more difficult a move is to do, regardless of who the Frenchman’s manager is.
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