If Manchester United can sign Raphael Varane this summer, the centre-back’s arrival could impact another Frenchman at Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba’s future remains in doubt. The midfielder’s current deal expires in 2022 and he could well sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere in January.
The story took another turn on Thursday night. The Mirror claim Pogba has turned down a £50million contract offer from United.
The report goes on to suggest that United are not willing to lose Pogba for nothing next summer. So a switch in the weeks ahead looks increasingly likely.
If United don’t sell Pogba this summer – or convince him to sign a new deal – they could lose an £89million investment for free. And that is simply unthinkable.
But United will not want to lose him for relative pennies now some of Europe’s biggest clubs know he could be on the market.
It is a tough situation for United, and one that could be impacted by the arrival of a certain World Cup winning defender.
French football journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi claimed earlier this month that United and Varane have been talking ahead of a potential summer transfer.
And the centre-back’s arrival could be exactly what Pogba needs to realise his future is at United after all.
A headline buy
Questions have always been asked as to why Pogba impresses for France but less so for United. Red Devils fans have their own theories, but Varane would bring a little more French flair to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
Pogba will not want to embarrass himself in front of his seasoned countryman. He will also be reminded of his World-Cup winning success every time he sees Varane strut onto the Old Trafford pitch.
Varane is the kind of headline-buy United need as they bid to end their Premier League title drought. But he is also exactly the man to pull Pogba’s socks up and convince him to stay.
Varane won’t be joining United for a pay-day. He wants success, immediately, and a fully firing Pogba would help that no end. Could he pull his countryman aside and say that, together, they could return the Red Devils to the top?
A daily reminder
Varane would be a daily reminder of how good Pogba can be. They have only ever played together on the international stage. But that could change next season.
Varane’s confidence at the back would also allow United to play a more forward-thinking game.
That is another reason for Pogba to get his head down and work hard. He could, in a free-flowing United team with a solid back-line, finally justify his huge price-tag.
Some United fans still feel Pogba is not good enough regularly enough. When he is great, he is unplayable.
Varane could be the unlikely key that ensures Pogba ups his game for an entire campaign. The midfielder may have turned down United’s latest contract offer, but could the arrival of one of the world’s best centre-backs help change his mind?